TENDERNESS TERRITORY. At gunpoint.
From the beginnings of my work as an artist I made the decision to tell the bright side of life. It wasn’t because pain (your own or somebody else’s) left me indifferent but the other way around. So consciously and determined, without discouragement, I decided to exclusively portrait the bright side of things.
In this hostile world, each one of us aims to shelter somewhere “sacred” and I found painting so that I could build a world apart, a delimited territory, a territory that in my mind was a physical space, not a state of the soul.
I have titled my last collection TENDERNESS TERRITORY and on it there are girls holding guns and knives. Even if this could seem a nonsense, it is just the position that I choose to take in a symbolic territory. Just like the Genesis’ God armed his angels with fire swords to protect the Garden of Eden, my army of warrior girls, just like those angels, defend my tenderness territory, my Garden of Eden, at gunpoint.
Shiny mountains of meat layered on top of each other like a sausage counter, physical masses reminiscent of roast roll, greasy bodies that look like plucked chickens. Rolf Ohst's fascination with immense fleshliness and its special presentation immediately brings to mind Roald Dahl's bitter narrative pig, in which a reclusive vegetarian comes to town, learns to love meat, to be frittered by himself. If there were not additionally the decided motives that Rolf Ohst lends to art history.
Whether Botticelli's birth of Venus, Giorgione's Venus in a landscape or Titian's Venus in bourgeois interiors about the acts of Rubens, Rembrandt, Manet, Renoir, Modigliani, Matisse to Cézanne or Corinth, Rolf Ohst quotes them all. He exaggerates Baroque profusion to extremes, paints Botticelli's Venus in gracefully trembling, shy obesity and likes to place his characters by the sea in front of dramatic baroque clouds, which also bring the seascapes of the Dutch alive, the figures are held in the style of the Classical Modernism. And then, when he dubs Edward Munch's famous Scream, a dull, fat beauty reminiscent of a stranded, gasping whale, the sampling is perfect. Rolf Ohst manages to connect with nude, cheeky and humorous in the best tradition to the nude painting and to convict them in contemporaneity.