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Amsterdam red-light district at the National Gallery

redA re-creation of the red light district in Amsterdam is opening at the National Gallery in London tomorrow and while it may be art, it is not the prettiest piece of work.

The artwork is an installation piece that shows the alleyways of the Dutch city, complete with mannequins with blank faces outside of the brothels waiting for men.

However, director of the National Gallery, Nicholas Penny, stated that the artwork is not meant to romanticize prostitution.

The art piece is called The Hoerengracht and shows the figures are dimly lit peering out from the shop corners in exact representation of the streets with anguished faces that may cause observers to think of the Madonna paintings from other display rooms of the National Gallery.

This is a first for the National Gallery, which does not normally show contemporary artwork, let alone an installation piece outside of its schemes that display work of their artist in residences.

The Hoerengracht is the work of an American couple from the 1980’s and is on display by the museum due to the light that it can offer to other pieces in the gallery, according to the curator of the National Gallery Colin Wiggins.

Wiggins stated that there are plenty of works that represent prostitution including Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth and The Les Demoiselles Au Bord de la Seine. He stated the only difference is that they subject matter seems safer in gold frames.


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