TOO MANY I IN DIGITAL
ARNO BECK CATHRIN HOFFMANN THOMAS LANGLEY
Cathrin Hoffmann, The Wormhole At The Centre Of You, Oil and acrylic on canvas 100cm x 80cm
Arno Beck, born 1985 in Bonn. Lives and works in Germany
Arno Beck’s prints and conceptual paintings evolve around digital aesthetics and focus on analog production of digital images. Engaging with the language of digital culture the motifs are based on low resolution computer graphics, games and interfaces. It is an interplay between the contemporary digital screen world and traditional techniques.
Focusing on the analog production of computer generated imagery, he transforms those digital images into the pictorial space, capturing digital aesthetics with painterly means. With his hand he interferes where the machine claims its field of competence – humanizing technology and making it less perfect. Due to the lengthy manufacturing process, the deceleration itself becomes a main aspect in times of constant information overload and hasty screen based interactions. The screen world rejects any kind of physically experienceable surface structure and with increasing digitalization the human desire for haptic grows. Consequently, the transformation of those screen based impressions and the materialization into physical, haptic existence become one of the key aspects in his work.
The series of typewriter drawings is rooted in that search for an analog translation of digital imagery into the pictorial space. As these drawings are achieved by typing line by line on Japanese paper using an old-fashioned manual typewriter, Arno Beck utilizes different letters and symbols, which create a variety of differing brightness values. On closer inspection they could remind the viewer of binary codes, emphasizing the connection between the imagery and the digital world. In that particular series he depicts landscapes on an almost photographic level and includes elements from low resolution computer games. By combining those layers, Arno Beck fuses two completely different display modes into a seamless unity, exploring our relationship with the different perceptual realities surrounding us.
Cathrin Hoffmann is a German, Hamburg based artist, who grew up in the 90s.
Often, at first glance, her paintings seem deterrent. And despite the clear graphic visual language, the figurative shapes do not seem immediately recognizable as beings. Yet, those who connive at the alleged nauseated impulse will moreover find humor and hope in her paintings.
As a visual narrator, Cathrin looks at our society with the inherent human mortal existence of every individual. IS EVERYTHING A MYTH? That ambivalence generates her artistic tension, which is reflected in the aesthetics of the interplay of certain surfaces and becomes the mirror of our humanity. Smooth and polished with artificial 3D feel, which organically unites into strange bodies. For this she uses those image processing programs, she learned in the course of her education as a graphic designer and misuses those same effects until the pixels evolve into creatures. The artificiality is elevated to the form of life. In keeping with the prevailing cultural zeitgeist, which is characterized by the affinity for a copy, it finally reproduces its digital creation by immortalizing it on canvas in the same way.
While being the human printer, Cathrin competes with the machine and demonstrates on closer scrutiny that she has failed. Those color-saturated digital compositions that glow of illuminated screens, now move to the surfaces of non-sterile canvases where dirt and brush hairs will stick on it. In that fragments of its residual reality, it thrives a maybe even more human and comforting parallel dimension.
Thomas Langley born 1986 in London. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.
From an early age Thomas Langley was taught how to strip an entire car in an afternoon; breaking windows, unbolting seats, door trims off – anything that could burn – had to go. He learned that gloss is hard to paint onto a car body that’s both too cold or too hot – rendering it either congealed jelly or runny sticky toffee.
Langley’s dad was an amateur banger race enthusiast. Running with a crew of guys from the housing estate where he lived, he’d work tirelessly in the garage- swapping engines and parts or cutting out wheel arches and swearing from spanner bite. One of his earliest memories of painting on a surface, that wasn’t paper or a school desk, was of painting the old cars his dad would Frankenstein together ready for race day. Granadas, Cortinas, Jaguars and Wosleys were all choice racing muscle.
Revisiting this element of his childhood through painting and sculpture, Langley captures the very essence of his attitudes toward making and the handling of materials that can be traced back to the ‘slap it on and see what happens’ attitude of trial and error. The same attitude which his father always encouraged in him and explored in his own way though his addiction to the banger scene.
The race track setting becoming the focus of a body of painting, through which, enables Langley to play with compositional rhythms and two point perspectives that undulate and pulse without a need for realism or solid representational technique. Memories, not unlike old cars, deteriorate and fade – or rot. Memories of this bizarre childhood experience translated through paint into contorted compositions rendered in pastels, hazy and clouded yet violent and urgently unforgettable. Safety and resistance become the subject of a sculptural investigation chugging alongside a smash of paint and flying colour. The safety roll cage rendered in soap- aromatic and pungent – sits heavily weighted and anchored in free space. An obvious antidote to the robust masculine identity of the heavy welded H frame.
Installation views @LNDWstudio