The South African born Dumas was then established since ten years in Holland where she had studied art and also psychology. Her friends from the Amsterdam's art communities are interesting in their nightlife, their vices and their disarray.
Under poor lighting the faces are pale and unhealthy. The people of the night counterbalance their banality by their desire for pleasure. Their portraits painted by Dumas far beyond life size anticipate by a few years the expression of the real ugliness by Young British Artists including Jenny Saville. She works from photographs like Francis Bacon had done.
On November 16 in New York, Phillips sells an oil on linen 125 x 211 cm painted in 1985 by Marlene Dumas and titled The Yellow Fingers of the Artist, lot 13 estimated $ 2.2M, which had been exhibited in the group of the Eyes of the Night Creatures.
This artwork is a diptych consisting of two portraits on a black background. The two characters look ahead and ignore each other like Munch's loners. On the left, the man dazed by the night has his fingers yellowed by fresh paint but also by the abuse of tobacco. On the right the young woman who is an assistant to Andriesse has her eyes too wide open and hides her mouth behind a glass of red wine.
SOLD for $ 3.6M including premium