Katja Seib

Miracle Mile Man, 2016

Oil on Hessian

210 × 190 cm

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‘Miracle Mile Man’ takes its name from the famous Los Angeles’s district near the Hollywood Hills where dramas and dreams unfold. This is where Katja Seib spent time taking photographs of people she met during a trip around North America. Seib’s work, whilst always rooted in realist codes, at times adopts an aura that can best be described as oneiric, even disquieting.

In ‘Miracle Mile Man’, Seib develops ideas of intrusion and voyeurism seen in some of her other work. In her 2014 painting, ‘Coming and Arriving’ the body of the beholder appears to intrude the boundary between artwork and reality in extending an arm, opening the door on a couple’s intimate moment.

Unlike Seib’s earlier compositions however, ‘Miracle Mile Man’ defuses the voyeuristic conceit of its invasive potency. In this composition, the nude figure looks unsurprised through the open door to the on-looker, as though their gaze was anticipated and, suggested by the figure’s slouched shoulders, somehow waited for.

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

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