R.J. Kirsch, Cologne, October 2015


Cologne painter and conceptual artist R.J.Kirsch reflects in his works technical progress, its often deceptive glamor and its natural failure.
Profiles, deformations and fragments become the material for artistic exploration. In series of paintings, drawings, and objects, Kirsch celebrates the accidents of technical processes and draws from them an aesthetic of his own. Silhouettes, folds or blueprints transfer fragments, debris and deformations into a new order.

Blueprints, photograms, silhouettes and folds. The main theme of the work of the Cologne painter R.J.Kirsch has long been the relationship of painting to technology.

Kirsch approaches the subject of technology from two sides: from the inside, when he builds small sculptures from fragments, scrap parts in part from consumer electronics devices, and documents their shadows in colored photograms. From the outside, when he depicts the surfaces of housings or car bodies in a deformed and folded state.

In between, there is an extensive series of small-format documentary oil sketches of vehicle accidents, also to test how much realism painting can bear at this point. Each accident painting, carefully researched, depicts an actual incident.

Interest in this subject arose early on, as the rapid development of technical image processing continued to challenge painting as a traditional pictorial medium. The current development of electronic data processing clearly shows how much artisanal techniques of representation have lost their significance. Against this background, the turn to technology becomes a kind of defensive reflex with which the painter also assures himself: to show technology when it can no longer fulfill its promise of function.

The artist admits to a certain degree of luddism, but does not want his work to be understood as anti-technology. Since more recently, variations have also emerged from the foldings, in which mainly the horizontal directions dominate. In addition to the impression of rapid passing, it is above all the perfect-looking surface of sheet metal profiles that lends these works their charm.

Internet: www.r-j-kirsch.de