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ACFNY RECOMMENDS | EXHIBITION

ACFNY RECOMMENDS | EXHIBITION

CHRISTIAN EISENBERGER | EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK

SATURDAY, APR 30 2011 - WEDNESDAY, MAY 25 2011

EXHIBITION OPENING SATURDAY APR 30, 6PM - 9PM

Austrian artist Christian Eisenberger, who began in the tradition of Austrian Actionism, is a veritable descendant of his compatriot Sigmund Freud and simultaneously unfolds the unconscious minds of both art and man. Born 1978 in the remote yet fecund village of Semriach, Austria, Eisenberger gained public interest very early in his career and was honored with exhibitions together with artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Banksy or the older German state-artist Gerhard Richter. A common rumor in Europe says that Eisenberger has created more than 45,000 pieces of art in the last 15 years.

In contrast to the self-proclaimed enfant terrible Jonathan Meese with his prodigious nihilistic l’art pour l’art opus, Eisenberger’s often chaotic-looking works never lack a multifaceted, poetic substructure. He found a unique form of language that allows him to elaborate the ideas of transience, transformation or the baroque vanitas (vanity) motive beyond common frontiers. With a somnambulistic certitude and complete spontaneity, he combines all genres of art, thus making these definitions meaningless.

Strongly dependent on his actual environment, his preferred materials are considered worthless to society, comprising of cardboard boxes, hair sweepings from the hairdresser, sugar cubes, ice blocks, shaving foam or miles of brown adhesive tape. Eisenberger created dozens of human cocoons using this sticky tape, freeing himself with a little utility knife after being wrapped from head to toe. Like a butterfly emerging from its protective covering, the artist is shedding his skin, reinventing himself every day. One characteristic is his serial working method, in which the artist toils until both artist and art are totally exhausted and a new working field is hopefully revealed. In his recent ghost-paintings series (an analogue to ghostwriters) freshly painted canvases drip on underlying canvases, thus creating another independent painting. The artist takes himself back to the maximum, allowing art, “to do its own thing” (CE).

For his first New York solo exhibition Eisenberger travelled again with empty pockets and, in a MacGuyver-esque manner, will turn the gallery rooms into his atelier, deciding on-site what to show.

As prices for plane tickets increased noticeably, the American public is asked very politely to buy as much as possible, to allow him a safe trip home. Otherwise the artist would stay in the U.S. forever, constantly unnerving the American society with his revealing and teasing remarks.

Christian Eisenberger was featured on the cover of issue 4 of the ACFNY's transforum magazine; a profile of the artist is availabe here.

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