In glittery portraits, carefully drawn skeletons, flowers and hidden jokes we find Stefan Kasper's signature style. Vanitas symbols form recognizable landmarks within his extravagant, multi-layered drawings on paper, cardboard and leftover material.
Galerie Bart is proud to present the solo-exhibition De gouden dood of de gladiolen by Stefan Kasper (1983, NL). Pencil, charcoal, glitter glue; Kasper uses ‘anything that sticks to paper’. The colourful drawings, collages and card sculptures form one complete picture in the exhibition, like a life-sized showcase.
Kasper stopped making preliminary studies years ago. He prefers to let his works develop directly and organically. The floor of his workshop is covered with snippets that have been cut away, but those often find their way into a new collage. As such, his works always compliment and refer to each other.
Reflection upon Western art history plays an important role in Kasper’s work. Vanitas symbols and equestrian statues are clearly recognisable, albeit with a nod and a wink: a bottle of beer instead of a luxurious wine chalice, glittering skulls, dandelions and men on clumsy horses that are far too small. Contemporary influences also find their way into Kasper’s work. For instance, a life-sized skeleton mounted atop beer crates and wearing golden armour is entitled One for the homies, a term borrowed from the world of hip-hop. Kasper also brings opposites together in with his material choices, not only in texture, but also in meaning. He uses rhinestones to refer to the former, excessive decorations used by the Catholic church. At the same time, these stones are dirt cheap and pure kitsch. They refute themselves.
The closing piece of the exhibition is a giant, contemporary militia piece (275x430 cm), in which his artist-friends pose with the artworks and attributes that can be seen in this exhibition. Last year, Kasper was the ten-millionth visitor to the renovated Rijksmuseum and this piece is a reaction to his unique experience of being able to sleep in front of The Night Watch.