Happy Holidays Forever
Wayne Horse – Happy Holidays Forever
17th of March 2018 – 19th of May 2018
Black colour lines, quickly, unclean and occasionally with solidly material density applied, branches to abstract forms by closer examination and only matures into more specific images with increasing distance. Although the scenery then can be deciphered clearer, it isn’t more tangible. Agglomerations of people, whose faces are distorted, seem to be cooped up within the artwork frames, like in a very confined space. Only slowly it is possible to identify individual scenes, as settings over settings merge together, like a big party where you try to find your lost companion. In general the scene seems to imitate a perfect moment, which is positive, exaggerated joyful and most of all decadent. Happy Holidays Forever – as the title of the exhibition indicates, the viewer finds himself situated within a venue full of lust, luxury and enthusiasm. But with a closer look, the event becomes fragile and the figurative image breaks up into rough, uncontrolled lines.
The German artist Wayne Horse (1981), also known as Willehad Eilers, tries to highlight this exact complexity and paradox within his artistic work. The Amsterdam based artist deals with the ambivalent wealth of the western society for a longer period now – the “wallowing of pigs in paradise”, as Eilers says. “The wealth and the material abundance of human beings today left marks in their self-perception. When there are no serious problems, when there is nothing left to wish for, it can’t get worse.” What is left is the very own self-optimization and self-realization. But the range of what is offered as successes or as a ‘fulfilled life’ is limited. Oneself and every moment has to be special, the documentation of it gets fed to the internet (un)filtered. Photographic evidences replace inner feelings of beauty or pain. By looking at social media the bitter taste of the feeling that everyone enjoys a continual, ever lasting vacation – a reckless moment – remains. Wayne Horse’s contextual themes and his pictorial technique, which brings up this composition of lines, emphasize how fragile this journey is. Although Eilers paints almost entirely with the colour black, he isn’t so pessimistic as it seems. His line control presents a former joie de vivre, where it is all about confidence and taking risks. The artist worked on this technique for 10 years and painted 2,5 years totally blind. That’s how he learned to trust his hand without controlling it with his eyes. Now there are lines that represent his inner self, his feelings and do not just show what he is able to do because of hard work and talent. The lines provide a comment about the illustration and aren’t just an aesthetic advertisement. For this exhibition Eilers moreover makes a marginal note by choosing striking background colours as “Champagne” and “Alert Red”. Colours that stand for luxury, fun and pomp, but also for excess, ignorance and loss of control. Sure is that the viewer is allowed to approach the artists scenery with humour and irony, as the cheerful oversubscription marks an elementary aspect of his artworks to break the spell between viewer and object and to initiate the dialogue.
Within the exhibition Happy Holidays Forever Wayne Horse presents besides mainly large-size canvases, paper works and an on-site installation. As Eilers is also known for the production of video installations and working with text and typography, the attendees can look forward to further visual and auditory impressions.
Text by Galerie Droste