• German
  • English
 

Philipp Weber

Pictorial Temptations

SOFT WAVES SPLASH AWAY IN THE HORIZON. TWO WOMEN, BENT OVER IN SHALLOW WATER, MOVE ABOUT SLEEK, WET, SHINY ROCKS COVERED IN MOSS LOOKING FOR MUSSELS – YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL, THE BREEZE LIFTING THEIR HAIR AND SKIRTS. AN ALLURING IMAGE FOR THE HEAVENLY CALM IT EXUDES, SO DISTANT FROM OUR TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD, SEEMINGLY PLUCKED FROM A 5‑STAR TRAVEL CATALOGUE.

Artist Phil­ipp Weber plays with our per­cep­ti­ons. A per­cep­ti­on that has been trai­ned to see only what lies befo­re it, used to judge and cate­go­ri­se wit­hin a mat­ter of seconds. At a first glance this image resem­bles a pos­ter­li­ke sur­face of a glos­sy adver­ti­se­ment, yet upon loo­king clo­ser reve­als its­elf to be a lar­ge hyper­rea­listic oil pain­ting, trans­po­sing a pain­ting tech­ni­que domi­na­ted by the mas­ters of old to our con­tem­pora­ry artis­tic world. The con­tent of the­se pain­tings move bet­ween cli­chéd set­tings fea­turing beau­ti­ful young women and the attempt to cap­tu­re their inner core. ‘Beau­ty is allu­ring,’ claims Phil­ipp Weber. ‘It opens your eyes, attracts your atten­ti­on and, in the best case sce­n­a­rio, awa­kens your curio­si­ty when loo­king a second time.’ It is that second glance which sets the irri­ta­ti­ons and dicho­to­mies in the works of the artist free. ‘In my works I care about the second lay­er, about what hides behind the see­min­gly flat surface.’

The hip­pie girls from the 2015/16 seri­es New Birth hint to a luxu­ry resort radia­ting an eso­te­ric aura; at the same time, the pic­tures take you on a jour­ney to the deepest human lon­ging for some­thing unspo­ken, ori­gi­nal, unspoilt: to a flaw­less new start.

Phil­ipp Weber

My type of pain­ting is essen­ti­al to me, just like my inde­pen­dence from quick­ly chan­ging models and fast-paced working methods. 

The Bless seri­es alo­ne from 1011/12 fea­tures ‘water’ as a the­me of puri­fi­ca­ti­on and healing. Film stills taken out of con­text show dif­fe­rent sce­nes of a young woman rising from the water of a lake, while rivu­lets and drops – pain­ted in com­ple­te trans­pa­ren­cy – run across her (Bless 3 – Anto­nia). Ano­t­her pic­tu­re shows her stan­ding still on the shore, sur­roun­ded by a valu­able shim­me­ring deep red veil. We invol­un­ta­ri­ly asso­cia­te Bless 6 – Anto­nia with repre­sen­ta­ti­ons of the Vir­gin Mary and saints from Chris­ti­an art. Howe­ver, Anto­nia is a sen­su­al being, yes, even ero­tic to a cer­tain extent, when you con­si­der her scant­ly cove­r­ed body: the allu­ring shadows around her bre­ast and loin, the full and some­what raw lips remi­nis­cent of Ange­li­na Jolie. Holy or depra­ved? A spi­cy mix which is trans­ver­sal across all histo­ry of art in the West and can be seen in many dif­fe­rent gui­ses even today, not least in the glos­sy and beau­ti­ful light of adver­ti­se­ments. At the same time, the repre­sen­ta­ti­on eva­des with its inva­si­ve pre­sence the tra­di­tio­nal expec­ta­ti­ons of what women should look like: the deep red of the veil repres­ents love and pas­si­on in wes­tern sym­bo­lism but also blood and mar­tyr­dom. The hair of the woman is damp and tan­gled; wounds on her forehead and col­lar­bo­ne stand out. The seri­es depicts a gamut of emo­ti­ons, from pain, healing, suf­fe­ring to hope, an ele­ment con­vey­ed by the mul­ti­fa­ce­ted mea­ning of its name, Bless. ‘The repre­sen­ta­ti­on of water as epi­to­me of life and rene­wal pla­gues me. It’s the heart of the seri­es that I’m cur­r­ent­ly working on,’ exp­lains the pain­ter. He doesn’t reve­al more.

The works of Phil­ipp Weber crea­te a ten­si­on bet­ween vicini­ty and distance, pro­duc­tion and iden­ti­ty. He empha­si­ses the ide­al pic­tu­re of a woman, shaped by our cul­tu­re, the hack­ney­ed fema­le func­tions in a seri­es of images: Riva­lin­nen (2009), Crea­tu­ra (2010) or Bless (2012) in coope­ra­ti­on with pro­fes­sio­nal models. By pla­cing her in a vehe­ment­ly bro­ken rea­li­ty, he gives the forms an ele­va­ted sym­bo­lic power, radia­ting a power­ful mood hin­ting to pat­terns wit­hin our cul­tu­re as well as wit­hin our con­tem­pora­ry pic­to­ri­al worlds. A fur­ther coun­ter­point is crea­ted by inclu­ding the name of the women in the tit­les of the pain­tings. The models don’t pau­se in their func­tion of being objects of con­tem­pla­ti­on, rather under­pin the pro­duc­tion of the artist’s works, as they’re real peop­le wit­hin the sta­ged space. Time and again a limi­ta­ti­on of con­tent and tech­ni­ques appears that makes Phil­ipp Weber stand out as a hyper­rea­list: he doesn’t look for an exact copy but wants to repro­du­ce an excess of rea­li­ty depic­ting the inner soul of objects. ‘Hyper­rea­lism to me doesn’t only mean pain­ting a bar­ra­ge of details, but an ons­laught of feelings.’

Phil­ipp Weber was born in 1974 in Ros­tock, in the for­mer Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic. His artis­tic talent was dis­co­ve­r­ed ear­ly on and allo­wed to unfold, thus deve­lo­ping his tra­di­tio­nal pain­ting tech­ni­que right from the start. He gra­dua­ted from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arts in Ber­lin in 2002 with top gra­des and has been living bet­ween Kas­sel and Ber­lin ever sin­ce. His works have been show­ca­sed all over the world at indi­vi­du­al and group exhi­bi­ti­ons as well as renow­ned fairs. Phil­ipp Weber con­stant­ly works in seri­es who­se topics he deve­lo­ps from a spe­ci­fic body pose or a spe­cial facial expres­si­on. After exten­si­ve rese­arch and his first sket­ches, the resul­ting the­mes are sta­ged under pro­fes­sio­nal con­di­ti­ons in pho­to stu­di­os with pro­fes­sio­nal models. Fol­lowing that, the pain­ting starts: based on exact under­pain­tings, his can­va­ses are pro­du­ced meti­cu­lous­ly in count­less over­lap­ping or lase­r­ed lay­ers to obtain their bril­li­ant colours and exact detail. The who­le pain­ting pro­cess needs mon­ths, some­ti­mes even years. A time when rust­ling tex­ti­les, skin that loo­ks real and the flow of water come to life on the canvas.

This leng­thy work pro­cess is bare­ly pre­desti­ned for a lar­ge out­put usual­ly reser­ved for the art indus­try and mar­ket. The artist crea­tes uni­que pie­ces that are piquing the inte­rest of a gro­wing num­ber of art collec­tors across Euro­pe and Asia. ‚My type of pain­ting is essen­ti­al to me, just like my inde­pen­dence from quick­ly chan­ging models and fast-paced working methods‘ stres­ses the pain­ter when tal­king about his tech­ni­que, heri­ta­ge of the past. The repre­sen­ta­ti­ons of Phil­ipp Weber draw their the­mes from the fast-paced pro­duc­tion of art today, as well as their con­sump­ti­on, to ent­rust them to limi­ted infinity.

Share Post
Written by

Am Anfang war das Wort. Oder zumindest eine helle Begeisterung für das Geschriebene. Die Kunstwissenschaftlerin Regina Bärthel arbeitete als Kommunikationsleiterin der Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, im Team von René Block sowie als Pressesprecherin der Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Dann lockte die Selbständigkeit in Berlin: Seit 2007 entstehen im Büro rhobeta. text & ideentransfer Texte zur Bildenden Kunst und Fotografie sowie zu vielen weiteren Themen aus Kultur und Leben.

Shopping Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue Shopping
0