2 April 2013

BERLIN: TAL R - EGYPTIAN BOY

TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge
all images: Works by Tal R, "Egyptian Boy" (23.03 - 20.04.2013), exhibited at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Courtesy CFA and Tal R; photos by artfridge

According to the annual Forbes list of the saddest and happiest countries, Denmark is the second happiest country in the world. Looking at their culture - their depressing and rainy movies, their melancholic literature or their heartbreaking music - the Danes, however, don't really seem to fancy expressing how happy they actually are. Only few of their fine artists appear to be spreading the happy vibes. At least this is the case with Tal R, one of Denmark's most successful painters and sculptors, who was born in Israel in 1967 and came to Denmark before he turned one year old. He currently exhibits a very cheerful solo show at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin.

This happiness applies to Tal R's entire Oeuvre: an extensive use of colours, naivety, playfulness, easy shapes, funny titles. Abstraction and figuration are both part of his repertoire. He continuously creates new worlds that shift between comic and circus. Remarkably, his work is not dull at all. Tal R, whose real name is Tal Rosenzweig Tekinoktay, knows very well how to explain what he is doing and why is doing it. Being the son of a school teacher, he recently said that he likes to challenge himself by talking about his art. This might be the reason why he became a professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Experimentation defines his practice: "Egyptian Boy", the current exhibit, shows dozens of ceramic sculptures, imitating abstracted body parts. The connection of work and title becomes a quiz game: "Nose", "Foot", "Hips Spine Penis" - they are all protagonists of Tal R's "body alphabet", as his gallery puts it. Huge noses, crushed faces, torsos and many club feet fill out the clean space of CFA's second floor gallery space. Based on the old religious and superstitious tradition of votive offerings, the artist placed the colourful limbs on top of plinths and boxes. Since the first century, votive offerings were used to beg and pray for help - they are mystically charged objects. The brown sculpture "Leg" (my favourite piece of the show), which looks like a curiously placed piece of excrement, smiles at the viewer, being enthroned on a screaming pink chest.

Tal R played with this irony before. Seen from the aesthetic perspective, "Egyptian Boy" is the continuation of his former shows, as for instance "Fruits", which he showed in 2006. There he placed  funny apple-faces and other similarly trivial objects on high plinths. Absurdity is a good weapon in the arts - it is blessed with a sacred inviolability. Tal R - cheerful or not - has made a good show. Its fun and what could possibly be wrong with that?


EGYPTIAN BOY
Tal R
23.03 - 20.04.2013

Am Kupfergraben 10
10117 Berlin
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri, 11-18h / Sa 11-16h



TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge TAL R_ "Egyptian Boy" _ exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin _ courtesy CFA and the artist, photos by artfridge

all images: Works by Tal R, "Egyptian Boy" (23.03 - 20.04.2013), exhibited at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Courtesy CFA and Tal R; photos by artfridge

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