Pascal Danz: ‹brain tattoos and other simple things›
The paintings of Pascal Danz treat the often difficult dividing line between the general and the personal, that is, between themes in the artist‘s own biography and questions concerning perception and the creation of history in general. He manages each time to entice us with his work, to draw us into the paintings and to fascinate. One could say that the artist defuses his themes to such an extent that each time we are able to contribute our own hoard of experiences. His painting is seductive and disturbing – effortless, but not easy to grasp.
For some time now Pascal Danz has been concerned with the ancient genre of the still life, in particular with the flower still life – demonstrated so impressively in the series „for David“ which he showed in the gallery in 2013. This preoccupation leads automatically to an examination of an image or painting’s power of representation, the temporal and spatial nature of the image, the place of the image in a metaphorical as well as in the real sense – and, of course, the concept of beauty. Further works have developed from the series « for David » that concentrate more intensively on the aspect of beauty in images in contemporary art. In order to push at the limits even further, Pascal Danz has now « withdrawn colour » from a number of works. The result is impressive painting in various shades of grey. The works are made from photographs which Pascal Danz took himself. In the group of works based on sculptures of African tribal art small figurines have been increased to gigantic proportions. And yet the objects were copied and painted in an unemotional, almost scientific manner. The artist wants to show them for what they are: on the one hand souvenirs and decorative articles for the « western » living room and on the other hand the colonial, western view of the exoticism of the third world and the occupier’s attempt to appropriate their magic and powers - although the former occupier is identical with today’s tourist. In addition other works show simple things such as fruit or everyday objects, all painted self-assuredly in the middle of the image. With this centring of the motif the artist generates a focus on the essential, the « thing ». This becomes the supposed target, a kind of magnet – from which the gaze does not allow itself to be diverted and therefore leads to an introversion of the image. This unavoidability of looking to the point of seeing causes the paintings to be burnt on the memory, to be connected to experiences or recollections and to embed these as signs, so-called «brain tattoos» .
The term brain tattoo is taken from a book by Siri Hustvedt and means the etching of a visual memory in the flesh or the brain.