ARTIST: ERIK ESAU
CURATED BY: IRINA RUSINOVICH
LOCATION: Bulowstrasse 11, 10789, Berlin
EXHIBITION DURATION: 06.05.2022 - 26.05.2022
VERNISSAGE: 06.05.2022 AT 7PM
Religious motives and biblical scenes are among the most favorite subjects for artists of all times because they are full of mystical experiences and multicultural narratives. Christianity since its very beginning has been a religion based on iconical images. We can remember many great painters in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance. But these were the times when most people were believers. Why do we thrill so deeply when we see these icons now?
Today, in 2022, we have a more difficult relationship with God. Many people don’t visit the church at all, but we still look at the great golden iconostasis and church domes with a sinking heart. Many people around the whole world feel some mystery fleur near the icons and churches and never mind believing they are or not.
In the CUSTOMS OF MODERN TIMES project, Erik Esau is trying to find unique motives and patterns that affect people and researching the mechanics of this process. First Erik’s memory of the cathedral was shocking and caught him off guard. Many scenes of abuse, cruel deaths, and pain were there, but all of them were very majestic and stately, with many golden details and with the shine of the hundreds of candles. It was an amazing childhood experience that he still can’t forget. As we know, sometimes children see the world and things from another point of view than adult people and in Erik’s works, we can see these exaggerated differences.
Viewers near the paintings at this exhibition can feel the cruelty of the large and massive characters in the pictures. They look like archaic leviathans, but they are already not scary, because they are transforming into something new, something modern and balanced between huge cruel and pompous myths. Monsters that should scare us become childhood fairytales. The exhibition CUSTOMS OF MODERN TIMES is an artist's attempt to pass through the anxiety and conquer it.
This series of paintings is the first part of the project, and this theme of childhood scares will continue in the future.