Cornelius Völker, ‘Oysters’, 2002, Hosfelt Gallery
Cornelius Völker, ‘Oysters’, 2002, Hosfelt Gallery
Cornelius Völker, ‘Oysters’, 2002, Hosfelt Gallery

German artist Cornelius Völker, painting with extraordinary prowess and sensuality as well as uncanny awareness and insight, chooses traditional genres — the still life and portrait — to explore and decode the history of representational painting.

Frequently choosing subject matter that was used by painters for centuries to best exhibit their proficiency — hair, hands, flesh, glass, food — Völker’s works blur traditional distinctions between genres, each painting becoming both a still life and a portrait.

A plate of oysters, in its similarity to female genitalia, points both to the origin of their alleged power as aphrodisiacs and to Dutch painters’ use of food and flowers to refer to the brevity of human life.

About Cornelius Völker