Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sebastian Gögel - The new hot thing from Leipzig

In Sebastian Göel´s (*1978 Thuringia, Germany) artworks, the world takes on the appearance of a confusing place full of permanent contradictions and conflicts. His particular artistic approach consists of portraying everywhere in his pictures subterranean traps, hiding-places and secrets, as well as fissures and hidden backgrounds, and of turning all dimensions topsy-turvy. A gloomy world is opened to view and shown to be inhabited by hermaphroditic beings situated somewhere between humans and animals, between both known and unknown stages of an ongoing evolution.

The views presented by Gögel invert reality into its opposite: inner worlds are turned inside out, the skin is stripped away from bodies to reveal their fleshy and formless substance, extremities are twisted and elongated, heads are inflated, eyes shifted and noses stretched excessively. The spaces are confusing pitfalls in which may be found every imaginable fear and tension. Gögel creates an exaggerated pandemonium in which all sorts of inscrutable and incomprehensible fantasies attain their artistic form. He plays a game of distortion and mirroring right up to its very limits: in many of his pictures, the artist continuously multiplies various meanings and statements.

This excessive degree of energy and expressiveness is offset again and again by works whose sobriety and purity stand in contrast to the grand pastose gesture, and in which G�gel depicts a spectrum of strained exertion on both the individual and social level, inasmuch he causes the protagonists to grow rigid within a strict hierarchy and a self-imposed discipline. He repeatedly paints and draws the embittered and contorted physiognomies of various personalities. These figures give expression to a degenerated social world in which everyone attempts to see through, to assess and to deceive everyone else. Beneath the sign of spurious respect and feigned interest, all esteem for others is surreptitiously discarded, and one�s own advantage is single-mindedly sought after.

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