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Danielle Hoogendoorn
We Are Not Cattle (2020)

In We are not cattle we see a small yellow coach drawn by four black horses. A journalist who saw the painting at the Royal Palace on Dam Square, when it was nominated for the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2020, noticed how it pictures a possible future for the Golden Coach: stripped of its fraught past, it has been downsized into a small golden wagon.

Although Hoogendoorn understands this association, she did not set out to create a work about the royal carriage. The image came about more or less by coincidence while she was exploring the concept of horse-drawn carriages. Animals, and especially horses, play a leading role in Hoogendoorn’s work. In the midst of seemingly fairy-tale-like and utopian worlds, Hoogendoorn’s animals become almost deified. Yet we can still see the artist’s socially critical view in the small details and in her titles. By positioning animals so centrally, Hoogendoorn questions the contemporary relation between humans and nonhumans, addressing both animal rights and environmental issues. We are not cattle encourages you to consider the future of the Golden Coach and the well-being of horses and citizens alike.

Danielle Hoogendoorn (Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, Netherlands 1990) creates new worlds through her paintings, ceramics, and installations where animals assume leading roles. With humor and fabled elements she examines the relationships between humans and animals in our society.

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