Wu Hao
I pity you No. 3, 2014

Wu Hao’s bases his large-format figural paintings on ‘screenshots’ from international film productions – these are almost always portraits of actresses in an artificially staged moment of archetypal emotion. In addition to the different iterations of the ‘Goodbye’, ‘I hate you’ and ‘You left’ scenes, there is a series entitled I pity you. The Daimler Art Collection has acquired the artwork I pity you no. 3, 2014. It shows a close-up of Briseis, one of the female characters in the blockbuster film Troy, 2004, who was played by the Australian actress Rose Byrne. Inspired by Homer’s Iliad, Wolfgang Petersen’s historical epic tells the story of the mythical battles of the Greeks against the ancient city of Troy, in which Briseis, a cousin of the prince of Troy, plays a central role. Wu Hao’s painting style blurs the sharp outlines of these high resolution Hollywood images, lending them a certain air of nostalgia. I pity you no. 3 records a brief and atypical emotional situation, as Briseis violently stabs her tormentor, at the same time losing Achilles, the man she loves. “I believe that these moments of dire need and misery experienced by human beings convey a lasting feeling of beauty – in this, there is surely a religious undertone.” (W.H.)

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