Throughout art history, art has often had its most important task to portray the beautiful, the divine, the perfect – everything that is pleasant to look at.
In other periods, art has instead focused on the ugly and provocative, by which the spectator is repelled.
This series of pictures is situated somewhere between the two poles: it may not be immediately obvious whether a work is really cosy or eerie. The pictures are uncanny – or what is typically called “unheimliche”.
The unheimliche aesthetic is an uncomfortable sensation that erupts when a subject, object or experience is encountered that is familiar to us, yet also foreign or unknown. It is, in other words, the familiar made strange.
The uncertainty we feel, when presented with something strangely familiar causes disorientation and confusion, due to being equally drawn to, yet repulsed, by the subject or object at the same time.