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Max (Meier) Bueno de Mesquita – "Butterflies in Auschwitz" (Paintings)

Max Bueno de Mesquita was a young man, an artist at the start of his career, when the Nazi occupation forces invaded the Netherlands and he was deported, along with most of Dutch Jewry, to the camps. Bueno de Mesquita survived the death camps, returned to the Netherlands and resumed his artistic pursuits in commemorating his experiences from the Holocaust period. One of the problems with which he tried to cope was how to go on living after the concentration camps. How to live with this “freedom”? Can one really be “liberated” from the camps?  With this central problem – life in the shadow of death, with the intensity of memories from that period – the artist attempted to cope by means of his art, an attempt whose fruits we display here in this exhibition.

“Butterflies in Auschwitz” includes some 30 of the artist’s oil paintings, most produced while he was undergoing an innovative psychiatric treatment for sufferers of “Camp Survivor Syndrome,” that involved the use of LSD. These works portray in a special artistic language, with vivid colors, somewhat nightmarish, and with a wealth of symbols, what cannot be expressed in words.

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