Benjamin Moravec is an artist who continues to firmly believe in the significance of painting, even in a world that is inundated by an ever-changing mass of imagery. Through the means of painting, Moravec questions our contemporary visual culture. He does this, inter alia, through the picture-in-picture technique.
"Many of my paintings are based on duality. This also applies to this work. In the foreground we see a panel with the image of a woman lifting her skirt as if it were a theatre curtain. At first glance it seems a simple game of seduction, but upon closer inspection it appears to be a window on the very complex and subtle world of human relationships.
Next, we see another image on the shelf that is impossible to define without knowing the code. It is a digitally generated image showing an amalgam of spheres. A purely mathematical abstraction, which I believe is able to evoke the phenomenon of cell division or mitosis, which is the first phase in the development of the foetus. This image, however, was solely created out of aesthetic considerations. It ultimately has no other meaning than the one we bestow upon it. This painting depicts a paradox: what seems simple to us, remains an unfathomable mystery, and what appears to be very elaborate, remains an empty shell." (Benjamin Moravec)
About Benjamin Moravec
Concerned with the effects of media inundation, Benjamin Moravec questions the socially constructed values and images that permeate contemporary visual culture with his realist oil paintings of family life, pornography, and solitude. Our understanding of these issues, he believes, are increasingly shaped by advertising, the internet, and other elements of “The Media Machine,” rather than our own values and ideals. The media “tries to swallow us when we are young, and impose its opinions on us as we grow older,” Moravec says. Works such as Happy Together / Die Together (2008)—a juxtaposition of two billboards respectively depicting graphic sexuality and a blissful family seemingly on vacation—exemplify the picture-in-picture technique he commonly relies on to add layers of meaning and blur the line between reality and fiction.
French, b. 1977, Thiais, France, based in Nürnberg, Germany