CarolinaA deep breath is evident in the works of Johannes Genemans, an inspiration of anxious emotional suspense and lyrical naturalness aimed at exploring the feeling of time and the harmony of form in an ideal and symbolic vision that binds together the past, the present and the future in a lasting unity, pulsating with existential truth and universal values. His impulse is an inspired one, developed following an intense journey of formal and plastic research and aesthetic experiences as a “made in Italy” fashion designer. It is a meditated awareness that in terms of aims and content means to cultivate the dream of a rediscovered Eden, or rather a new paradise, where the sense of union, solidarity and respect for one’s own kind is once more an absolute ethical value and a constant code of life. The Biblical story is explicit with regard to this. In the beginning God created Man in his own image and likeness, then, seeing that he was alone, took one of his ribs to make Woman. “He created male and female” to affirm the equality of men and women, the difference between the sexes, the invitation to procreate (“Be fruitful and multiply”). But not everything went to plan. Tempted by the serpent, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, going against what God had commanded them to do. Hence they were cast out of earthly paradise and thus began a pilgrimage that continues to this day bringing conflict, division and turmoil that undermine the future of the generations to come.

In his work, the Dutch sculptor launches a heartfelt message of hope and peaceful coexistence. Genemans’ project is strongly felt, with its lofty goals addressing the fundamental role of Women in society and in the family, as well as the restoration of global balance.

Carolina Carolina Carolina

Recent events worry the artist: “The world is in a state of chaos, civilisations are in peril, monotheistic religions such as Islam, Judaism and Christianity are at war with one another. The radicalism of Isis, the migration phenomenon and the escalation of terrorist attacks are not to be underestimated. OrissaA bitter war between systems is in progress that jeopardises the very existence of mankind, its culture and its identity”. How do we get out of this chaotic mess? Rather than with words Genemans expresses his solution to the problem in an ongoing project called “Inter-culture”, a great compositional artistic work that is symbolic, bedazzling and innovative; a multicultural work that depicts six attractive young women of various ethnicities, cultures and civilisations, custodians of the uses, customs and traditions of their home countries. These are sculptures finely cast in bronze, female icons bursting with grace and elegance, animated by the common feelings of love, peace and solidarity. They are the modern daughters of Eve, simple, chaste, generous, strongly motivated, that want to build a new world of peace, accord and harmony. These shining heroines of history and life go by the names of Carolina the Mediterranean/European, Letizia the Brazilian/American, Orissa the Indian, Dahkla the African, Geisha the Japanese and lastly Asmae the Arab, from whom perhaps we await the most incisive and devastating revolution: the liberation of Islamic women forced to hide behind veils, to conceal their femininity and to suffer at a very early age forced, premature marriages. All six sculptures are wrapped in flowing, thin, light. transparent garments, with soft colours and romantic shapes, elegant and sophisticated clothing that give brilliance, naturalness and seductive charm to the plastic forms. Every tiny detail and feature of the faces is perfectly defined, each one different from the next, just like the eurythmic movements of the bodies that “speak”, with their arms either raised to the sky to represent purity, or reaching forwards in a sign of friendship, or perhaps clasped behind the neck or folded across the breast as an expression of deep feelings of sweetness, grace and kindness.

Orissa Orissa Orissa

Sensitive and intuitive, Genemans blends together the woman and her universe with skilful artistry, he captures the moods and amniotic feelings, makes the images light and graceful, fuelling the atmosphere with splendour and emotional pathos that makes each female figure something unique, exotic and fascinating able to corrupt the conscience of mankind and to fire the collective imagination of humanity.

LetiziaBesides being exemplary models of formal harmony and beauty, the six sculptures are expressions of unity, friendliness and affection; live and palpitating “creatures” it could be said, committed through their determined actions to change the course of events for the purpose of bringing about a future of peace, serenity and wellbeing. But Johannes Genemans, always enlightened like an ancient prophet, admonishes: “Without full rights (and powers) for women, especially in the Arab countries, it is utopian to believe that the ideological divisions and wars will finish”. A close examination reveals how the “Inter-culture Group” project, already successfully presented at the Expo Città in Milan and in other important exhibitions, aims to promote dialogue, understanding and integration among all the peoples of the world in order to overcome age-old conflicts of religion, culture and civilisation. The goal is to set up a new world, in which otherness and respect for others is re-established as the most important ethical and social value; a way of being in which dialogue and interaction between the various linguistic, ethnic and cultural differences leads to the setting up of a new phase in the life of mankind, one that the philosopher Giambattista Vico in the perpetual renewal of the three historical cycles (“corsi e ricorsi” theory) called the “civil and truly human age” (after the “primitive and divine age” and “the poetic and heroic age”), where all men can find and recognise themselves in each other, in absolute freedom, respect and harmony and with an equal division of the planet’s food, water and energy resources, overcoming individual selfishness, vested interests and struggles for power. Is this perhaps a utopia? No, it is an eternal ideal vision, a new order established, a garden of Eden rediscovered. It is amazing to see the persistence with which the Dutch sculptor carries forwards this ambitious multicultural project based on ethical principles and universal values.

Letizia Letizia Letizia

This is a choice that affects mankind, humanity and life, but one that does not invalidate the quality of his aesthetic research, always striving to exalt the perfect form and pure beauty, as befitting of an authentic connoisseur of plastic representation in the European style, from Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Dahklathe sublime interpreter of Roman Baroque, to Bertel Thorvaldsen, the founder of European purism, from Antonio Canova, one of the finest exponents of neoclassicism, to Andrea Verrocchio, the creator of splendid plastic and luministic effects, up to the most sensitive and refined expressions of the 20th century including the eminent sculptor Emilio Greco. Genemans analyses, studies and assimilates these stylistic references achieving his own personal formal and plastic language, full of deep humanity and intimate romanticism. Sustained by an apprehension of continuous excess, he also feeds upon the grandeurs of symbolism (see, the enchanting women of the Belle époque) and the magic of decoration found in the painted lodges of Italian cities or in the frescoed rooms of ancient palaces. He is equally attracted by the symbolic and decorative concepts of Gustav Klimt, the skills of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in transforming the suffering of the natives into art or by the imagination of Helena Lam, the creator of splendid female figures. Genemans exists within this atmosphere, he bathes in recurring emotional, sensorial and poetic moods, translates his strong feelings into a highly aesthetic vision, where reason and sentiment come together in a unity of truth and virtue. This is where the principle of invention and creativity is born. In the sculptures of this outstanding series, all strictly female, the representational vision is extolled in the romanticism and the emotional pathos transmigrates into the contemplative, producing unique effects of an Orphic nature, by virtue of an extreme sophistication that becomes a free and impassioned song of unspoilt and eternal beauty, as only a true master can do.

Dahkla Dahkla Dahkla

And if it is true that “Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence” (John Paul II) and that “Beauty will save the world” (F. Dostoyevsky), here is revealed the fundamental reason that has inspired the creative flair of Johannes Genemans, a man who loves and protects his chosen women, a unique and original contemporary artist, able to rethink the world and to envisage a new paradise on earth.

Alvaro Valenti

Sayuri - Asmea

Culture Unite


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