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Harma Heikens  Groningen, The Netherlands

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About Harma

About Harma

The recent work produced by sculptress Harma Heikens shows life-size orphaned children, smeared with dirt and scantily clad in rags. They are busily engaged with money, food and clothing. Their cartoon-like clothing and expressive glances make them appear like a cross between porcelain Hummel figurines and personages from the Manga comic strips. Heikens uses culturally determined symbols wherein the representation of the child can be seen as a metaphor for the near future. Working within the playful idiom of popular culture and making use of techniques of temptation derived from the advertising world, she calls forth visions of a befouled world terrorized by economic and sexual exploitation. The colorful and playful image language manipulates the viewer into considering the attractiveness of this idea. It delivers cynical, sometimes pornographic images which, at the same time, seem to wish to offer consolation in their reference to images of saints and martyrdom.

Heikens says that these child figures are a reflection on the decorative paintings of sad-eyed children, mass-produced in the 1960s following Keane’s example. Rendering poverty aesthetic and sexualizing the child’s body were at the time experienced as innocent. Placed by Heikens in a contemporary context, such images now call up a grim, post-apocalyptic reality. This must mean either that the world has deteriorated or that we ourselves, the viewers, have lost our innocence.

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10 of 13 reactions displayed

"You're able to shock audience, great quality!"

"it has great quality!"

"i have to say i got hit hard when i saw this figures they're amazing and im glade to have run into them i feel alot of people not only understand better but also relate in a wierd way even if they havent gone thru it personaly i cant explain how much exitment it bring me to know theres art that shows something other then the pretty things i love them and thy're images that will never be forgotten thanks"

"Wow. Who knew there was a market for White Trash Precious Moments figurines?"

"The are inspiring, You should do a show in the St. Louis area."

"your great pay no attention to the hater's !"

"Your sculptures are very disturbing and thought-provoking, so I think you are successful in evoking the reaction that you want from the viewer. I wouldn't want any of those in my house (not that I would want any Keane figurines in my house either)."

"These scupltures are very moving and make one think of what could be in the coming times. Very good!"

"Are you famous yet? Get the people from the Whitney Biennial to look at this for the love of God!"

"Quite good. I am very much impressed by the powerful expression."

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