Paintings 2015-2017
paintings 2015-2017
Recent Waterworks (2017)
recent waterworks 2017
Basketball
basketball
Hockey
hockey
The Long Summer
long summer
Paintings 2013-2014
paintings 2013-2014
Collages
collages
The Black & White Ball
ball
Clipped
clipped
A New Year in Paint
paint
Skating on Thin Ice
skating
Golf
golf
Austria
austria
A New Decade in Paint
paint
Dancing Through Life
dancing
Figures
figures
Whiskeytown
whiskeytown
No Naked Nudes
no naked nudes
Convictions
convictions
Body Language
new york
Tribute to Rotonde
brussels
A New Century in Paint
paintings1
Freshly Dug Up: 1970's
early work
In London: Diverse RCA
london
New in Berlin
berlin
In San Francisco: Boxers
Springer-Croke
In New York: Surfers
Surfers
From Cleveland: "Drawn In"
Cleveland
"The Babies V"
Babies 5
From Berlin: "Medusa"
Medusa
 

Body Language

Stricken Strike Struck Vacation Pool
ny01 ny02 ny03 ny04 Clams
Tickets Shooting Gallery ny06 ny07 ny08
ny09 Toss Strongman Ocean ny05

Body Language

In much of her work, Jan Wurm portrays humans partaking in unpleasant activities, and her art fits in style the messages it conveys. The hyper-realism of the strong man’s distorted proportions show the disassociation between Wurm’s vision of the ideal and her view of his occupation. The ticket seller’s booth, bathed in the dull monotone red of neon lights, reflects both the falsity of the carnival and the bored melancholy of a woman who would rather be somewhere else.

The minimalist white void that surrounds Wurm’s characters serves to amplify the presence of their props. This turns the boxer’s gloves’ red into more than just a standard—it’s pinpointed, targeted, made into a symbol of blood and all the dark aspects of the profession. This turns the viewer’s attention to that single solid object that controls the gambler’s life, the card table. This brings to plain sight that which enthralls—and haunts—the characters, and the void on its own reflects the solitude they subject themselves to.

Wurm’s final message—conveyed through her character’s body language—is one of self-causation. Her characters cross their arms, warding off interaction, sealing themselves in their cages of discontent. The gambler keeps his grimace and hand glued to the table, not letting it go lest he find something better. Even the victor in the boxing matches can’t wear a smile as keeps his arms as close to his chest as he can. Wurm draws her characters in pitiable situations and depicts them as lost cases, their inability to open up apparent through their stances and expressions. In this manner, Wurm’s art conveys its message regarding the various activities these characters are engaged in.

Michael Pruess