Khaled Barakeh comes from Syria, where the conflict has been going on since 1967. The overlap between his personal and academic background, has had a profound effect on his artistic practice. His works include references to political issues, and deal with current concerns revolving around identity, cultural, historical matters and power structures. Barakehs most recent projects represent a sensitive and intelligent engagement with an ongoing violent conflict in Syria and reflects a life split between Syria and Germany, and in a broader sense between the Arab World and Europe. Thus, on a purely formalistic level, Barakeh’s works bring together obvious contrasts like sculpture and picture, manual and digital, heavy and light.And maybe more importantly diametrically opposed artistic approaches, such as figuration and abstraction, craftsmanship and conceptual art. Yet, what his works share in common is the fact that they each confront the viewer with traces of an untold story.
Starsky Brines’s large- format paintings captivate audiences with their distinctive style and a recurring theme. In his bold works, the artist focusses on characters that are built from the combination of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic features, as well as the appropriation of elements of the universe of comics and toys from his childhood. These characters distort reality to venture into an environment of subcultures and urbanism evoked by the spontaneous intuition of his strokes and the appropriation of the contemporary iconography. Personally influenced by his mother and art historically influenced by Latin American figurative art, the German neoexpressionism, the Italien Transavantgarde, and the COBRA group, Brines uses a variety of media. Collage, objects, photography, drawing and painting as his main tools to narrate stories from his own daily life. His works connect us with the strength and drive of our society, recreating the human being through the distortion of its shape evoking memories and reminiscence as a resource to connect with the audience, where past and present are found and constitute an unstable intimacy with a playful spirit that brings us closer to the tragedy and absurdity of our collapsed societies.
Frankfurt based enfant terrible Florian Heinke is known for his radical black acrylic paintings that alternate between political polemics and transcendental beauty. Combining text and image using only black acrylic on untreated canvas, Heinke’s methods are unique and highly impactful. Schooled initially on the streets of Frankfurt, Heinke discovered studio painting after being arrested for graffiti writing.
Winter / Hoerbelt known for their site-specific, mostly walk-in objects and large installations in public space, re-think in their practice the concept of sculpture. Exploring the disciplinary fields of architecture, art and music they have created numerous spatial walk-in sculptures, installations, sound-animated objects and pavilions. Their works have been shown in major exhibitions around the world from the Venice Biennale to the Skulptur Projekte Münster.