MARTIN C. HERBST
b. 1965, Salzburg, Austria
Herbst is painter, whose work focuses on an elaborate reevaluation of art historical themes and theories of classical portraiture and human figures. His "subjects" are individuals, but at the same time portray the best work of their epochs. The traditional intent to display the distinctive likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person is combined with witty and often unexpected forms of representation. Faces appear on spheres and look like caged moonfaces.They are distorted when painted on curved panels, but look "normal" if the viewer perceives them from a certain point of view. Or they are painted very traditional, but exist in multiple versions. His virtuosic, often monumental figurative paintings and objects appear paradoxically, at times cool, distant, mediated as well as present and vivid. Herbst carefully avoids narration or any illustrative visual discourse, while convincingly exploiting his potential as an impressive colorist.