Still Living Hand To Mouth and Foot To Face
30th September- 16th October
What do you understand from an image? Ideas link up between firing synapses and search-term algorithms, data scrapers identifying commonalities between trains of thought and clumps of pixels. If we can imagine it, we might as well not bother - we need only to describe it and it will appear before us - or at least a version of it will.
There is no pub-argument anymore. There’s no space for two truths to exist in tandem, described and supported and impossible to disprove, it takes seconds to find the definitive. For an image, this is less driven towards certainty and more to potential, we can find anything we desire.
Desire is an important factor in the paintings presented with K.T. Kobel’s debut presentation with the gallery, titled Still Living Hand To Mouth and Foot To Face. The images migrate around the surface, finding space to spread - either that or they pull right up to the surface, almost out into the room, pitting the viewer against the canvas in an act of disobedience. There is an ugliness to desire satisfied, the act of wanting has a soft-glowing beauty, the dissatisfaction of getting is something with which we’re all familiar.
What happens when the satisfaction outweighs the desire?
Being able to find anything, to bring anything into being, to pull any image from the ether in an instant creates a new relationship to pictures. In Kobel's new paintings, he pulls structureless fantasy onto the canvas. The works exist out of time, out of space, manifestations of momentary wandering - the musing of a distracted mind under utilised. What may once have been that flash in the pan thought can be chased, collected and archived visually without even having to seek it out. The glut of access has an obvious impact on value - if something is easy to get, it tends to be cheaper and less desirable. There has been enough written on the subject of value and imagery - instead what these new works ask is what fills the space that the anticipation used to exist in? That thought-void does not cease to exist, it has to be filled by something and that something has to be satisfied, over and over. The desire is satisfied but it can only grow.
Still Living Hand To Mouth and Foot To Face explores that newfound ability to satisfy desire, what it means to have moved beyond anticipation and what effect that has on the imagery we manifest.
K. T. Kobel b.1988 London, UK. Lives and works in Amsterdam, NL. Kobel’s work deals with the grey areas of human experience to help bring coherence and closure to the disorder and chaos of trauma, expressed through a style of visual obscurity and concealed meaning. Often pairing imagery to highlight the ambiguity that lies within the mundane and the absurd. As a figurative painter, his works are characterised by often foreboding scenarios, rendered distinctly with airbrush which gives a soft contrast to the sometimes difficult subject matter.