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“Cada vez que empiezas en un proyecto te sientes como si fuera el primer día de colegio. Todo lo que llevas está mal, todo lo que haces está mal, sientes que hueles mal, todo te parece que va a ir mal. Pero el cariño con el que sabía que se estaba tratando este proyecto me quitó el 95% de la ansiedad; el otro 5% se quedó conmigo todo el tiempo”
(Neil Gaiman)

Tribute to a painting 

Quality check - 2017, oil on canvas, 117x90 cm
Quality check – 2017, oil on canvas, 117×90 cm

Hola Marco,

about 2 weeks ago I was lying in the chair at the dentist and I remembered your painting.
I like to write now and then, about my own work or somebody else’s work.
This because I think that besides making art, you have to practice to write about it as well. So that you can give words to what you make.
So after the dentists visit I started to write a kind of tribute to your painting.


On Wednesday, the 1st of February 2017, I suddenly found myself in the studio of Marco Noris.
Three months I had circled around it but now I had the temerity to ignore the stop sign on the door and there I stood, in the middle of his studio. With headphones on his ears and in his blue overalls, he was busy painting. I had to shout to the top of my lungs before he noticed me.

The last paintings I had seen of him were the ones in his exhibition in Vic.
At this moment I saw, I guess, actually some of the fascinations of Noris from within. As if the subjects on the paintings were more personal, with more inner motivations.

We talked a little longer about a certain painting:
At first you see a far gaping mouth with in this mouth on the right a dental mirror and on the left such a nasty dentist hook. Above this mouth in a greyish field only a pair of eyes.
Marco himself was proud of how he had painted the reflection of the teeth and gums in the little mirror. And he succeeded indeed but for me the contrast between the manner of painting at the top, parsimonious and thin, and the lower part of the painting, greasy and sculptural, was the most fascinating. The different way of painting lead to a different way in appearance of the mouth and the eyes.

The gaping mouth with a greasy lower- and upper lip in a slightly unusual and filthy color, you see teeth and gums but also the area under your tongue is visible. As you do not often see it yourself but which you recognise irrevocable. A bit of an undefined area, very sculptural painted. The teeth don’t stand perfectly straight and are not glossy white but contain a bit of yellow.
But then, those eyes above the mouth, full of horror and fear, they express almost agony. No more than a few brushstrokes but very well hit and close to what reality might be.
With the mouth you can identify but the eyes, those are of another person. You know how you look like at the dentist’s chair, with your mouth in a spasm but you do not know what your eye’s express.

The banality of the subject gives the painting a kind of humour, sour maybe, but still.
It has something existential, something alienating and also is a little repellent, but just on the edge. Where there is this balance between attraction and repulsion, between fascination and abomination and you don’t know yet how it will effect you.

Looking at this painting starts with fun because you start with an open mind and you see the pleasure Noris has in painting. But then happens whatever happens when you sit in the chair at the dentist.
At first you feel comfortable he is just drilling a little.
But in the meantime the assistent doesn’t pay attention and your mouth slowly fills with drilling water and after a while you start thinking, soon I will suffocate….

Carien Vugts