Katja Seib

Casino 2, 2016

Oil on Hessian

200 x 135 cm


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Artwork
Description

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‘Casino’ by Katja Seib evokes the all-or-nothing atmosphere of Las Vegas, in which the fast-paced pattern of winning and losing creates a volatile emotional atmosphere where anything could happen.

The painting depicts a man and a woman, in matching hoodies, playing a slot machine emblazoned with the words ‘Adam & Eve lost in paradise’. They are captured exchanging a look, with the man placing a hand on the woman’s shoulder, seemingly encouraging her to continue playing. What at first glance seems to be a familiar location becomes more unsettling upon closer examination; the lurid red carpet is imprinted with the pattern of a naked woman, and the slot machine displays a picture of an apple and the word ‘God’, darkly associating the gamblers with the Fall.

Such details might go unnoticed by both the viewer and the figures in the casino as they concentrate on gambling, but their existence points to the unreal, sinister nature of the casino; things must not be taken at face value in this oneiric world.

About
the artist

Born in 1989 in Düsseldorf, Katja Seib graduated from the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie in early 2016 and has been working closely with ARTUNER since then. Seib studied in the MFA painting class with Prof. Tomma Abts. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Katja Seib's paintings are complex and seductive; the coarse hessian fabric, that is her painting surface of choice, allows for a play of textures and hues integrated in the visual vocabulary of her art.

The artist’s painting process is quite labour-intense. Firstly, hessian cloth requires to be smoothened with several layers of rabbit glue and chalk. Then, Katja Seib mixes the pigments herself, to be in control of the thickness and degree of coarseness of the colours. This way, the artist is able to enhance her paintings’ narratives on a textural level as well; the balance between uncouth and dainty establishes the tension of these works and guides the viewer’s eye from one character to next.

Katja Seib paints exclusively in a figurative style, which allows her to develop alluring and mysterious narratives of desire and strangeness. The topic of dreams is extremely important to Seib. To her, the experience of dreaming offers to the individual a much needed escape from reality. Domestic settings coexist with bizarre situations; the everyday as much as the outlandish are flattened on the same surface and yet, there is a strange sense of deepness and space that allows the work’s existence to expand beyond the limits of their own frame; the contour of a body bustling in another room, a disembodied arm opening a door, or waving a feather, a cigarette’s smoke spiralling towards the ‘real world’.


Katja Seib’s paintings are complex and seductive. Painting exclusively in a figurative style allows her to develop alluring and mysterious narratives of desire and strangeness.


Katja Seib
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

November 10th, 2016 until
February 11th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER