'I'm not some puppet with a logo behind' Art and politics go hand in hand in popartist Jan Klein's gift to the newly EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. It is a modified EU flag painted with optimistic peace messages. Tuesday Vestager was presented the work, and it put her in a good mood.
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In September, the artist Jan Klein asked a handful of different people to pick a phrase to describe their relationship with the EU. There where statements like 'EU über alles',' EU or chaos', 'Fuck the EU', 'Strategy = falsehood', not to mention the Radicals' election slogan "I believe. In Europe '. Jan Klein - who was born in 1951 and describes itself as "an old hippie" - had in fact just seen on TV that Margrethe Vestager had been inserted as European Commissioner. Therefore, he would give the radical politician a gift that she could take with her to Brussels.
"It was all the alienation," said Jan Klein to explain that why threw himself over the EU as a theme. He himself was very unsure about his own attitude towards the EU and met many negative attitudes. It made him want to create a work that in a more positive and constructive way told a story of the European Union.
In good spirits
Paper strips with the sentences with the conflicting messages were included in the work Wonderful Colorful EU People - a collage painting specially created for the newly Commissioner.
And surprisingly enough for Jan Klein, Vestager accepted the invitation to receive his gift. And now the day so come when the art piece will be handed over.
- Margrethe Vestager, how do you take the work's message with you in your political work?
"To me the art piece speaks perfectly about all the differences between people and about how we can gather," said the politician. She continues:
"This is a contrast to the EU flag as we know it: It's lots of colors and it sticks out in many directions, and yet it is one thing. In this way, it makes more sense and depth to the EU motto 'united in diversity', than the blue flag by itself does. The blue flag is not different, it's just a big blue surface with some identical stars on. But here you can feel the heartbeat of the many, many people in Europe. "
- It's a crisis hit Europe, we are facing right now. Is there a need for art to create exactly the unifying effect you talking about?
"I think there is a need for all kinds of art. There is no need for that art should be a program or enter into service for the crisis-hit Europe. But for me art is an access to even interpret the things that are going on around the EU. I think it is important that it does not enter into service, but to do that we can see ourselves and what we do in a different way, "says Margrethe Vestager.
She tells the example that she recently had to comment on a major new investment in a news program via satellite link. As background had chosen an anonymous light blue logo. "I thought: Could not we at least have Brussels as background? Then one can see that it is a man who speaks. I'm not some puppet with a logo behind. "
- It is said that this is a problem in the EU that political processes are very distant from the people. Can such a work make people feel like they have more influence?
"It's probably much to ask," Jan Klein hesitant.
"But I think that when you talk about things either through art or conversation, you can demonstrate that the basic all want peace in the world, even though it may sound trite. Like John Lennon and Yoko Ono: They believed in world peace. And if you do it today, then you become almost mocked. But it will be necessary to believe, "says the artist.
Jan Klein thinks it would be fun if someday someone asked him to come down to the EU and paint all the men's suits in lively colors.
"If everything is just black and white, it gets fucking boring," he says.
The artist and politician posing for the photographer while they keep the painting in front of them, so their heads peeping over the edge. Right Jan Klein half long gray mane, and left EU Commissioner's short haircut.
"Then we can hide behind it," says Margrethe Vestager, and all laugh.
'Wonderful Colorful European People' was presented to Margaret West-ager at Art by Klein Tuesday, December 2nd. The work will hang in the EU Commissioner's office in Brussels.