empathy

Of Monstrous Proportions

Art that shakes up your world: Jonas Burgert's artwork might frighten you at first site, until you look a bit further and the adrenaline kicks in. Nadia Jennings reports...

Jonas Burgert‘s (graduate of Berlin’s Universität der Künste) current debut exhibit at Blain|Southern Berlin, Gift gegen Zeit (Poison Against Time), introduces us to an alternative reality that is overwhelmingly provoking and obscure.  Monstrous canvases engulf the gallery walls, whilst morbid scenes of demented creatures are splashed in neon pink and yellow, depicting a dreamscape of both calming and disturbing mental proportions.
 

In precise and elaborate detail Burgert’s sculptures and paintings, some exceeding 400 x 690 cm in scale, tell the story of a world transfixed in bleak uncertainty. Tragically, he narrates the individual and collective struggle of absurd human-like beings that appear desperate in their search for continuity and reason.

Grotesque Figures

Juxtaposing dark grey backgrounds with a shockingly vivid foreground, Burgert uses color to create a physical resistance between his characters and landscape. Lost and twisted in buzzing vibrancy, his characters occupy the grotesque scene with a steady tension of anticipated rebellion. The result is an overtone of both fear and excitement barely masked by shocking streams of vivid ribbon and dripping paint wrapped generously around the figures.
 

As the viewer, we cannot help but gape in awe at the emotionally charged, apocalyptic nightmare strewn violently before us. We feel as if we have intruded on a pivotal moment, one that we are unsure is to commence or cease, but is nonetheless significantly spiritual in nature.
 

Despite feeling unwelcome, the subjects’ serene expressions and cooling blue flesh tones release a quiet veracity and humility that we, as the viewer, can empathize and relax to. It’s as if Burgert has set the scene for our internal battlefield, awakening us from our own outlandish dreams to a reality that is quite unsettlingly different from the one we had hoped for or previously expected, but is yet still mysteriously the same.
 

28 April 2012 – 7 July 2012/ Tuesday to Saturday: 11.00 – 18.00