Mike MacKeldey — La manie d’abruti
La manie d’abruti
Past: January 8 → February 21, 2015
Born in 1973 in Frankfurt-am-Main, MacKeldey renews the genre of portrait painting with audace. Far from trying to produce bland or idealized artworks, he shoves tradition thanks to material-loaded pictorial gestures. Multiplying interventions on the canvas, he brushes and alters his meticulously painted first image, before placing several writings on top of it — brusque and immediate ones, reminiscent of graffitis or children’s drawings. This play of contrast, which is his trademark, seems to translate a sort of detachment from Painting itself, and offers multiple interpretation grids to the spectator.
“…There’s the lateral sweeping of the surface, that literally combs the paint,” writes Marc Molk, about Mike MacKeldey’s work. _“A painting turned into auburn hair spread across a bed, hair by hair, perfectly. Thus we are submerged by a feeling of great softness, of great delicacy, but it’s a worried kind of feeling, as all these hair are no longer on a head. Across the ridges, which seem like millions of grooves of a rectangular vinyl record, there are nervous carvings, mad ones, made in the fat of the brushed oil, to the canvas’ core, most likely by the hand of a maniac. There is also, a contrario, generously, grossly, graphically spread paste, over (in) the precious, primitive moire. This contrast between elegance and dirtiness works at full blast, it is striking. (…) There is writing, a lot of writing. First the carved writing, the writing with a key on the painting’s bodywork. The envious, mean writing, that of an exhausted worker who hangs out on the grands boulevards and scratches a furious wave on the side of a splendid Lamborghini, badly parked, unbearable. Then there’s the childish handwriting, the circle-stick one, the creamy one that dirties but that heals. The Nivea handwriting and its long moving gobbledygook. (…)
“Like, you little girl, you’re gonna stop putting on airs quickly and well! I’m going to sort your perpetual top of the class look out! Like, also, I’ve started doing a beautiful painting, a seductive one, a bit à la Richter, but me boy, I don’t stop here! And even if I could easily set off bourgeoisie’s “Wow it’s beautiful!”, I say damn, damn to you and the others ! And the beautiful nice painting, I vandalize it. Because there you go, I don’t want to play the Apollinian lyre for nunky and auntie! What I want you to contemplate is the marvels of a chainsaw massacre! I take you back by force to the filthy stations of the subway, to the East arrondissements, to the toilets of an English club where the door is trashed with druggies insults and cellphone numbers no one will ever call. I lock you up in an abused childhood’s, terrorized child’s closet, and you don’t have a choice…
So look, look at this painting and through this painting the painting underneath the painting, and through this second painting, notice the reproach, the judgment in the eyes of the young woman. Behind her gaze, guess who she is looking at? Yes, it’s you she’s looking at.
Invited Artist: Ellen DeElaine
Marc Molk is the author of the book “Plein la vue (la peinture regardée autrement)” Wildproject editions, 2014
Opening Thursday, January 8, 2015 6 PM → 9 PM