Ausstellungstext für „Oh Baby“ mit Giorgio Ermes Celin, Melissa Floyd, Fatima de Juan, Julien Jaca und Emily Manwaring.
„The group exhibition „Oh baby“ with the artists Giorgio Ermes Celin, Melissa Floyd, Fatima de Juan, Julien Jaca and Emily Manwaring deals with the physical themes of sexuality, love relationships, nudity and sensuality in contemporary painting. At first, the perspectives seem very different. Fatima de Juan paints doll-like stylised dark women who fulfill clichés and yet seem so surreal, as if the animal-like warriors came from distant planets. As heroic badges, they gather feminine curves to themselves. Melissa Floyd deals with hypersexualised, vulgar self-portraits on social networks. Her images of people distort proportions even further, exaggerate, inflate, until not only the face but the whole person becomes a grimace, ultimately revealing a loose, vital colour surface painting. Giorgio Ermes Celin stages (homosexual) relationships in intertwined and twisted body systems. The arms, hands, fingers and other body parts flow into each other like melting ice. Julien Jaca is dedicated to the French tradition of female nude models in painting. Inspired by Paul Gaugin, he sets patterns, textiles, tattoos and skin in a naively exotic interior cubism. Emily Manwaring’s pictorial worlds open up a romantic pop world of the 80s and 90s, in which the sometimes playful and sometimes sensual body consciousness of black women, teenagers and children takes centre stage. „Oh baby“ is not an exclamation that men clichédly throw at women. Here it is uttered by the image protagonists themselves, but also in an ironic and playful way. Sexuality and sensuality are pursued analogously with the brush, in contrast to our digitalised world in which our feelings are increasingly stimulated virtually. Between artist and canvas, alone in the studio. In the composition of the works, the naked skin multiplies into an abstract colour surface and, on the other hand, into the narrative element of the pictorial beings. Either way, nakedness disappears. Perhaps, in reality, nudity cannot exist in painting at all, but only among people. In paintings, images of bodies are bodies of colour to which the human viewer reacts. His judgements are, positively and negatively, condemnations. But has painting asked for this at all? „Oh baby“ shows young, contemporary body images that play with ideas and clichés, but also demand free contemplation. Then sexuality finally becomes „just“ an aesthetic, haptic design.“