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Bonus Post: What You’d See If You Were Going To Maastricht

MaastrichtOpeningAlas, I am not going to Maastricht this year for TEFAF, the best art fair in the world, in my opinion. Last year was the 25th edition, and it was spectacular. If you have time to read this, instead of looking at the art on view, you’re probably not there either.

But though Maastricht is known for its Old Masters, it has more to offer — lots of 20th century work, for sure, and some from the 21st century. Presumably, this breadth is why those entering the fair, which begins tomorrow to invited guests and on Friday to the public, will see this piece of contemporary art at the entrance.

VillearealEntitled Mary Poppins, and pictured at left, it’s the largest contemporary art work for sale at TEFAF. Made by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, “Mary Poppins’ six protective elongated arms of 7 meters (7,65 yards) calls to mind the magical nanny popularized by P.L Travers’ children’s novels. Mary Poppins is made from pre-existing materials and mass-produced objects along with other hand-made crochet and knitted fabrics, collected by Joana on her travels with textiles originating from the UK.” It’s supposed to appear weightless, floating in space.

Just for fun, I’ve also got a picture of last year’s contemporary “welcoming” installation — a light piece by the artist Leo Villareal, at right.


  1. Mary Poppins?! So the “‘six protective elongated arms . . . [call] to mind the magical nanny”‘? Not my mind. Here’s a better view of those six arms: Without the title (or the text you quote, which is very likely printed on a wall label) would any ordinary person who sees the piece think of Mary Poppins? I don’t think so. Even with the title and knowledge that “it’s supposed to appear weightless, floating in space,” the connection seems a bit forced. Not art in my view.

    Louis Torres, Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts)

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