The Most Important Job

The Most Important Job displays the unpleasant side of parenthood and of childhood. While mothers are often seen as the tools of society, there to create the upstanding citizens of tomorrow, children are approached as just the product, or raw materials even, of motherhood. Part of the inspiration of this series comes from the work of Alice Miller, who wrote about (covert) abuse caused the extreme power imbalance in the parent child relationship.

The works in this series are based on stills from reality shows (Super Nanny) about parenthood gone wrong. While television shows us an edited story where there is a clear problem, culprit and solution; a painting can open up space to question why humans continue to repeat patterns of abuse, why they choose to remember childhood as the best time of their lives, and why they even have children in the first place. Is it possible to raise a child without damaging it? Could being powerless be inherently traumatic? Perhaps learning how to deal with powerlessness is the most important lesson in life. After all, even adults are always subjects to their government and often powerless too, even in the most democratic of societies.

I have been working on this series on and off for about 3 years, another post about it can be read here: Gifted

The Most Important Job was shown on This Art Fair:

And in 2023 in museum Dat Bolwerck: I won’t be an egg which you would crack in a hurry for the world | Dat Bolwerck