Katja Seib

Milk and Honey, 2015

Oil on Hessian

160 × 160 cm

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‘Milk and Honey’ by Katja Seib is a sensuous work of art, entrancing the beholder with a vision of quietude, satiety and delight. The observer can let themselves be imbibed by the sense of serene stillness emanating from the man resting on the bed. The promise of milk and honey, traditionally gifts of divine origin linked to notions of fertility and sexuality, resonates in the Egyptian inspired déco.

Once more, the artist allows a privileged glance into a very intimate moment. Behind a door left alluringly ajar, one can glimpse or imagine the supple contour of a naked body, perhaps refreshing themselves in the adjacent bathroom. By suggesting activity, and thus life, beyond the beholder’s scope of vision, Seib succeeds in expanding the painting’s existence beyond the picture frame.

The viewer’s eye is guided through Seib’s gracefully balanced composition by the lines that confer the pace and rhythm to the painting. The work is divided into two parts: the lower half, where the sinuous lines of the duvet embrace the lying figure, evokes serene contentment; while the upper half, dynamically enlivened by the chequered wallpaper, like a hieroglyphic sequence leads to the partially hidden, standing character.

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

February 8th, 2016 until
March 31st, 2016
Curated by ARTUNER