Bell Cazzo – Vita Figa: Part One: Bernhard Martin

26 November 2011 - 21 January 2012

The paintings on show in Bell Cazzo – Vita Figa: Part One address the beauty of the coexistence of differences. We’re dealing here with cravings, role-playing, longing, desire, self-abandonment and a thirst for déjà vu.

Martin asks us to consider the mindhungry traveller, a person with everything at their disposal who more often than not lacks happiness, contentment and a sense of belonging. The life journeys of Martin’s characters are marked by rupture; theirs are not cosy, steadfast relationships, they are predictable only in their unpredictability. Inevitably these characters’ stories always end in theatrical drama: lust, sex and murder, with jealousy after partner swapping, substitute lovers and parallel worlds. We find ourselves at an emotional borderline, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

In the work we may detect references to films by John Cassavetes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and David Lynch. However these references are never explicit. Martin’s point is not to quote or reproduce film directly; instead he is fascinated by how ideas are translated into a visual language and how psychological obsessions are revealed. He is interested in the freedom of thought, our filmic projections, the stories we construct to frame our lives. Martin looks for the hidden psychological side of the self and the self of others; it is a search for one’s own alien abysses and desires, always remaining ‘Moralinfrei’, bypassing spiteful moralising habits.

The paintings in this series are in pastel shades, on raw canvas, giving them a seductive, unrefined quality. Yet they seem smooth and spherical, ambiguous and peppered with a suspicious impenetrability.