Katja Seib’s paintings are suspended between domesticity and fantasticality. Familiar and reassuring depictions of interiors contend the space with mysterious interstices and otherworldly creatures. The movie-like division of space that often occurs in Seib’s paintings encourages the viewer to read a narrative into these works.
The cinematographic effect is also triggered by the disorienting tension between the static pose of the subjects and the incredible dynamism of the painting, as if the eye of the camera, moved by a skilled director, were guiding the spectator from one scene to the next.
The dark figure curled up in the left-hand side of ‘If the Truth Hurts I Pop Pain Pills’ seduces the viewer into following her glowing green, pulsating eyes towards the brightly lit living room on the right. An arching stream of pills that bridges the scenes, where a figure is lying on a sofa, in a pose arguably familiar to most of the viewers: visibly relaxed, the androgynous character is fiddling with their phone. Their head is hidden from the viewer: their body, their existence even, expands beyond the picture frame, where the flow of pills is directed.
Katja Seib’s mastery of colour and texture is remarkable; by mixing the hues herself, the artist can decide whether she wants the paint to be thick and shiny, or granular and thin. Thus, paint itself becomes involved in the narrative process and a closer observation of the surface might reveal underlying connections within the subject matter.