It is a pleasure to introduce Moritz Schleime’s new work in his second solo exhibition at LARMgalleri.
Moritz Schleime’s recent paintings (2013) take as their point of departure the fictional universe of Paintorado. That is, an Eldorado created by paint and the artist’s mythology and ideas of a lost fantasy inhabited by pirate ships, carnivalesque cowboys, and surreal Indians. With a wry sense of humour, Schleime presents his ‘world’ as both a long lost Utopia and a sarcastic comment.
Schleime’s brush is informed and inspired by a pile-up of clamouring, cheeky images, by celestial electronic backdrops, and by the great and sadly underrated genre of the comic strip. Moritz Schleime takes us on an adventures gone wrong which are more like trips to Absurdistan. In his relentless deconstruction of fetiches, idols, and the world of pop he takes spectators into a labyrinth of layered narratives, in which subjects are often excessive, and where his lines and colours take on the shape of otherworldly phenomena. His art is a continued and ongoing flow of real and imagined narratives.
In his paintings Schleime is telling us about his past while, at the same time, his images are alive in the immediate present. Schleime himself very accurately terms his images ‘Jetztbilder’ – art works that encompass our immediate presence in an eclectic, but authentic, mix of high and low culture. Both delirious joy and desperate despair are everpresent and entangled.
Within his multi-layered aesthetic chaos, amidst lines, splashes and traces one can see and feel the energy and emotional intensity that went into it. It is almost as if his subjects speak through the artist as spirits through a medium, and in turn provide him with a tool for transforming his phantasms into an act of liberation. The shifting boundaries between reality and fantasy worlds serve as powerful subtexts for Schleimes’ canvases. The artist’s sense of humour is vulgar, surreal, anarchic, and just plain odd! His superheroes in fact take on enemies that reside deep inside us: loneliness, suspicion, the confusing world we live in, and the challenges and demands posed by artistic creations. This is a tightrope performance of unexpected variety which operates in the space between narrative and formally condensed images, between high and low culture, and between clichés and the exceptions to them.
Moritz Scheime was born in East Berlin in 1978 and emigrated to West Berlin 1984. Today he lives and works in Leipzig.
Moritz Schleime studied fine arts at Kunsthochschele Berlin-Weissensee (1998-2003) and graduated from the Kunsthochschle Berlin (KHB) in 2004.