As part of DC Open, Sies + Höke presents the third solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Jonathan Meese (*1970).
Meese has gained international notoriety through his performances, installations, paintings, sculptures, collages and video works as well as his work for the theatre. In his paintings, Meese shows personalities from world history or popular culture, from ancient myths and heroic epics, or from a personal canon of protagonists. Uncompromisingly he proclaims his utopian concept of the ‚dictatorship of the art’ in dealing with proscribed persons and symbols, or German history. Always walking the tightrope of humoresque distortion, as an artist he consciously takes the risk of causing offence.
A constant theme in his painting is that of political systems and their control and power mechanisms. This is evident particularly in his excessive use of historically charged symbols, which Meese deconstructs Meese ornamentally or leads to absurdity by combining them with trash and toys. The systematic inflationary use of these symbols conceals the aim of neutralising them. It is an essential feature of artistic expression, constantly to exceed the bounds of good taste, since this manifests the fundamental doubt concerning the belief in and treatment of symbols as expression of political power.
For his exhibition COUNTDOWN ‚K.U.N.S.T’ (DIE GEILSTINVASION) Meese’s focus lies on the theme of ‚evolution’. Where previously the theme of ‚revolution’ was at the forefront of his work, alluding to his proclaimed ‚dictatorship of art’, the new paintings revolve around natural processes as well as personal developments. Thus, some of the new canvases boast snarling animal heads, vigorous antlers and hot-blooded faun creatures. On others he writes ‚GO TO MUMMY’ or ‚FRÄULEIN MORDREDADDY’, referring to a more personal level of childhood and growth.