Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Martin Kobe

Martin Kobe's paintings are surrealistic architectural renderings, which , the viewer will feel, that will collapse at any moment. Vibrant, modern, sharp and clean, Kobe’s paintings uses restrictive set of hues - reds, greens and blues.
I like the way he paints shadows - they give his work a certain character and depth.
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Kobe’s paintings reference architectural modernism, and its emphasis on sheer horizontality, open-plan living, and visually bisecting lines as much as the seamless set architecture of popular science fiction. Interior and exterior views are compressed using interlocking horizontal planes. Sharp, vertiginous walls and ceilings inter-cut with balconies, picture windows and coulisses, leading the eye around the canvas. Kobe’s palette is vibrant but with each painting, the overall hues are restricted, either a tight range of deep reds, silver blues or acid greens that enhance the emptiness in the work: utopia devoid of the mess of the everyday.
Kobe makes his paintings using many layers of paint, built up to create chromatically varied and rich areas of colour that are kept in place by masking tape. In this way, there is an element of painterly collage, of different viewpoints, buildings and trajectories being compressed together in one image. The buildings are sometimes unfinished, without roofs or walls, provisional support structures that are like scaffolds for the picture itself. Different areas of the paintings are handled in different ways – mostly, it is applied in a perfectly smooth, flat manner, the blocks of colour working against the depth or reduction of space in the composition. At other times, it is modulated – a rectangular mirror pool of water, for example, is mottled and indistinct, since the paint has been dragged or squeezed onto the surface.
white cube

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