Christian Marx Galerie, Düsseldorf
Christian Marx Galerie will present a curated show by three Gallery artists at Volta Basel 2019, Tim Okamura (Canada, 1968), Igor Oleinikov (Russia, 1968) and Maxim Wakultschik (Belarus, 1973). For our Booth we curate a show of contemporary positions on portraiture in painting, drawing and object art.
The representation of the human figure is one of the oldest motifs of painting and sculpture. Over the millennia, but especially during the past centuries, the portrait has undergone significant changes. Since a long time it is not only the task of the portrait to depict the external face of a person, but also to make the inner being visible. And there is this constant conflict with the human desire for exaggeration and idealization.
Also in the field of portrait is and was constantly experimentation to contemporary interpret new aesthetic experiences. Art will never stop dealing with the image of human beings because it is the first and next moment of himself.
Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban environment, metaphor, and cultural iconography through a unique method of painting – one that combines an essentially ‘realist’ approach to the figure with collage, spray paint and mixed media. The juxtaposition of the rawness and urgency of street art and academic ideals has created a visual language that acknowledges a traditional form of story-telling through portraiture, while infusing the work with resonant contemporary motifs.
Igor Oleinikov draws on paper and canvas with pencils and crayons as well as with oil paint – and with passion. He has developed an unusual painting technique by drawing directly onto the canvas. At the heart of Oleinikov`s narratives is the individual figure: she can assume the role of the hero, the position of the observer or the outsider. The protagonist can also act as an alter ego in the form of a child.
In his series optical portrait, Maxim Wakultschik combines monochrome colored toothpicks, such as the pixels of a photograph, into a portrait. This creates objects between sculpture and painting, between the classical portraiture and the modern digital age. Wakultschik uses his illusory work to carefully control not only what the viewers see, but how they see it.