Katja Seib

D’Amour, 2017

Oil on Hessian

200 × 190 cm

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Katja Seib’s paintings often elicit a sense of wonder and intrigue: they tease the eye, lure our minds into a realm of dreams where aspiration and desire may collide with reality. In D’Amour, we catch sight of a lone figure in a nondescript place. The minimalist setting – one man, a wall, a car, a street – echoes the restrained palette -few hues but each vibrantly rendered: the use of white for the pavement and the front of a car advancing from the lower right corner in stark contrast to the crimson red brick wall. The man’s outfit denotes US hip hop culture (black hoodie and baggy trousers, comfortable shoes and inverted cap), in tune with an urban street style as evoked by the enigmatic words ‘7 am in Germany’ written in graffiti on the wall he man is standing by in profile. The viewer enters this intimate space as an active witness – kept alert and in suspense through the eerie sort of tension Seib creates. Is this man the graffiti artist? What is on his mind and is he about to drive off in that car? Where are we? We may be tempted to ask. The enigma within Seib’s iconography is palpable here and that is precisely what makes her works so suggestive and exciting. Her figurative style is paired with a photographic eye in the way she crops scenes so as to reveal moments of life in glimpses.

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

October 1st, 2017 until
December 16th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER