Paul du Bois-Reymond - Satisfactory
Paul du Bois-Reymond’s paintings are landscapes of surreal pleasure. Always departing from a digital source, being it found footage on the internet or snippets of iPhone pictures, the paintings translate bidimensional images into tridimensional environments, populated by artificial objects. Often associated with the luxury world, the depicted items are transposed from the digital to the physical through oil pastel and paint; flat images become objects again, only this time twisted, enhanced, elevated into something different.
The representational transition of the objects from digital surface to pictorial matter seems to alter their entity: the black glazed ceramic of a simple ashtray suddenly appears oddly attractive; round and lushy pearls of piercing brightness capture the eye, floating around in an expansive world made of marble, where symbols of luxury triumph in their allure: Majestic, unreachable. Cold objects move in a surreal landscape, distant in their perfection, yet sometimes strangely familiar. Flashes of intimacy, fragments of the artist’s personal life appear in this setting too: a corner of his house, a picture of a familiar place. And then, juxtaposed to this scenery, the fleshy pink of a lipstick becomes all of a sudden satisfying to look at, the object itself incredibly desirable: you want to touch it, own it. Expensive ordinary objects are celebrated here, their status as symbols of consumerism now glorified, in a process of sharp, almost pop arrogance that questions their blatant appeal: Why are these objects so attractive? why do we desire them? does their exclusiveness influence their beauty?
By deconstructing snippets of reality and reconstructing them onto the canvas in a neo-cubistic manner, du Bois-Reymond prompts us to re-think the relationship digital/ physical, transforming flat images into palpable objects: enhancing their formal quality with the thickness of the oil pastel increases their allure, their creamy surface and exaggerated colors suddenly sensual, inviting. The ironic look at these surreal symbols of contemporary desire are framed by the artist in an intelligent manner, in an attempt to disclose hidden mechanisms of our aesthetics in the most transparent way possible: through pleasure.