We are confronted with a larger-than-life explosion of Emmanuel Lootens’s head in yellows, blues, whites and reds. Karel Appel’s portrait of his Belgian poet friend is part of the series ‘Têtes d’otages’ (hostage heads). In one excessive and rushed painting, the intense facial expression has been fixed on the canvas. The inky black background and the colour bulging at the edges of the painting form a sharp contrast with the colours of the head and thus increase its brilliance. The dominant red emphasises the sitter’s fiery character and vitality.