Gaiska Torrealba created brand new work for this exhibition and the Loods of the Red Star Line Museum is an ideal location for the special radiance of these paintings.

The historical location as well as the works of art breathe the emotional strain caused by the European migration waves from Antwerp to America from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century (1873-1934). The Red Star Line’s subject is a matter very close to Gaiska’s heart. He shares a tangible affection with those millions of migrants, because his mother’s family suffered the same fate.

His grandparents fled Hungary as the result of many long years of oppression and persecution to build up a new life in South America, a decision which has marked the family ever since. While working on this subject, Gaiska was soon overwhelmed by feelings of solidarity with the Red Star Line passengers and the emotions that are evoked by the pictorial historic material.

In Gaiska’s work, people are the central focus. Often they are children or young people who are completely unaware of their fate. Their glance, attitude and presence are ambiguous. Gaiska leaves this ambiguity for the visitor to interpret.

Gaiska Torrealba (1973) is a Venezuelan-Hungarian artist, who has been living and working in Antwerp for quite some time. In this Shed, he displays a series of paintings that are inspired by old pictures relating to the Red Star Line. Some of the works were specifically created for this exhibition.

Free entrance. 

Special thanks to Bob Verhelst and Ineke Symoens (ineke.symoens@telenet.be).