SALON #2 David Zeller
6 May – 15 May 2021
David Zeller’s paintings put emphasis on humans and their vulnerability. He locates his naked models in staged room settings, creating an evocative interaction between space and human. A resultant transcendental atmosphere and subversive poetic daydreams thus approach vulnerability in its complex forms.Zeller brings the dignified praxis of oil painting into contemporary times. His technically perfected oil paintings challenge the tradition of the medium by not using a canvas or paper as ground but cardboard. The consequent haptic and vulnerability of the works underline the endeavor of investigating the handmanship of painting intermedially. Thus, further enhancing the special atmosphere radiating from the protagonists who directly involve the spectators by staring at them. Zeller’s main intention is to crack up the one-sided attribution of photorealistic painting and rather involve various socioeconomic focuses and discuss them in a self-reflective manner. Sexuality, Identity and self-determination are recurring sujets of his work. The break with established expectations, vulnerability and transience of human dignity and the fight against norm systems should be enhanced through Zeller’s artistic practice. David Zeller mainly produces series of works, like TROPICS, JEANS and MELLOW.
TROPICS refers to the word’s multiple meanings like an idealized association of an exotic paradise painted by mass media while in reality being tainted with colonialism and exploitation. Enhanced through the term “heat” which refers to sexual heat, ambivalent associations of cultural phenomena are questioned.
The MELLOW series shows single portraits of naked people situated in front of a monochrome surface, creating an anonymity of the room. This direct view of a naked human body creates a visual brutalism which is aimed to sensitize us in regard to sexuality and thus to create a consciousness of the criticism of mass media and bio politics. Principal concern of the drawing-based series “house of tropics” and “hand on desk” is to deconstruct global rituals formed by mass media through symbols loaded with phenomena of pop culture. Within this phenomenon of annexation Zeller aims to find a way of expression to create a more aware dealing of divergent traditions of pictures.