Not too long ago, painting from photographs was considered a sin. The true painter went out there and had a good look, made some sketches and then returned to his canvas to paint form memory. This is no longer the case. First of all, we now have many artists that go out there, have a good look and then paint on the walls and secondly, some of the most beautiful works being made today, are based on photographs. Thus taking yet another step away from reality. A photo is already a representation and provides a different subject than the actual scene. Some of the best painters in history work from photos like Francis Bacon, Luc Tuymans and Gerhard Richter.
An artist that, perhaps, does not enjoy the international status of the aforementioned three megastars is the Dresden born artist, Eberhard Havekost. Havekost’s work is generally described as ‘cool’ or ‘distant’. Considering his subjects of choice, you could even call it ‘Pop Art avant la lettre’ with all the references to modern media culture and consumptionism. Not that his work is mostly a protest against society. In the first place, his works are paintings to watch and admire. Paintings you can look at for hours and dream away while you try to unravel the creative process that proceeded the visual sensation you are undergoing.
His works are painted in detail, but in no way do they try to duplicate a photograph. The painting adds to the image. You process what you see much more analytical, you seem to become more aware of what you are actually watching. As if the subject is not taken for granted.
Many wonderful artists have emerged form the Dresdner scene lately and Havekost is definitely one of them. With his cool contemporary figurative style and meaningful, but objectively worked out subjects he is one to watch for the future.
Should you wish to see his works in real life: if you hurry up you can catch them at the Miliken Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden (great site, worth checking out) until the 23rd of november. Or you may always pop into the Gallery Gebr. Lehmann in Dresden or Berlin.