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Writing Excerpt on Tim Enthoven

Tim Enthoven dramatizes the conflictual characters of social value systems in his (dys)functional and overextended social, biological, and ideological structures. Enthoven’s paintings, drawings, and situations-practices often use emotionally and ethically charged pairings as the basic structural units: individual-collective, animal-human, and parent-child. Reconfiguring the mundane into the uncanny, Enthoven transforms everyday sights like kitchen scenes, dogs, and suburban architecture into models of spatial, temporal, and ethical hierarchies. Besides literature, ethics, and psychoanalysis, Enthoven draws his creative vocabulary from lithographic catalogs, catchpenny prints, family photo albums, and dog breed charts. As the artist develops his sketches into never-meant-to-be-realized conceptual diagrams, sites of ambiguity and poetic futility emerge. The viewers are enticed to decipher the ambivalent symbols that oscillate between care and manipulation, desires and repression, stagnancy and movement-in-the-becoming.

Tim Enthoven’s State Dress (2023) present a structure of geometric stability, whose violent erasure of mobility breeds volatility in the becoming. Dog biting takes the form of a voluminous dress as if worn during a standing portrait. With the dress’s upper half and its wearer’s torso missing, a disproportionately small woman's head sits atop, about to be devoured. The dogs’ open mouths form repeated red circles, suggesting the dress secures its stability through interwoven bloody, cannibalistic bites. The blue collars tied around the dogs’ bodies suggest they are trained German Shepherd police dogs with rage. The dog-biting-tail dress also serves as a metaphor for social stability, where humans engage in events of “following” as integral to the social fabric ironed to their skin, identity, and ways of behavior. Connected by bloody bites, the fabric of the dress appears as inseverable as an animal’s fur from its flesh. To ensure the dress’s symmetry and seamlessness, Enthoven duplicates the silkscreen stencil of the dog over 50 times.

Tim Enthoven, State Dress, 2023, Photo courtesy of the artist and YveYANG Gallery.

Tim Enthoven website:


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