Between beauty and cruelty – the picturesque world of Steffen Blunk

Two groups of motifs dominate the work of the artist Steffen Blunk: war paintings and nudes. At first glance, both issues seem very different. A comparison, however, shows formal correspondences that ultimately turn out to be insightful for both subjects.

The painter consciously uses the internet as a comprehensive image source. But he also uses photos from newspapers and magazines as well as historical documents. The focus is on the images that reach us every day via various screens and print media and that surround us in everyday life. Steffen Blunk uses images that are consciously or unconsciously embedded in our collective image memory and that determine the image rhetoric of the mass media.

An artistically created commonality between the two opposing genres war and nude is the choice of their creative means. Laminated wood panels act as the image carrier and serve as the basis for the artist‘s painting and as a starting point for his flat-engraved figures. The plywood panels underpin the content-related concerns of the artist in an unusual and clever way.

In both the war and nudes, Steffen Blunk carves the figures into the wood of the panels. He‘s sort of peeling them out by digging their silhouettes into the wood with a chisel. They emerge like light shadows in their ambience painted in oil and contrast the narrative of the picture with their sheer, rough and wooden materiality.

Andrea Katharina Schraepler,
"The Power Of Images", 2021

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NUDES - 2022/2023
created 01.12.2023
created 01.12.2023