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'Magistra Artium' by Sarah Fripon at xhibit, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

The topics of my works are taken from everyday life and document my thoughts on what is happening around me. They are association chains that appear on canvas as composition. Source images for my topics I constantly collect with my phone – as a guest in other people´s houses, on city walks, in shops – I find them in old mail order catalogs of my childhood or in form of stock photos and advertising layouts. Thus I compile an archive, which I use as a starting point for my paintings. In it are collected motives that have the potential to describe the here and now – evoke thoughts, imply answers or reflect a certain mood present in society. And there are others which are just funny, nostalgic or frivolous. Out of this mass of pictures I choose some, collage, modify and edit them. This way I contemplate about themes that help me to better understand my surrounding.

There are several reoccurring topics of interest: power structures, physical money, comfort food, ideals of beauty and hygiene. The decelerating medium of painting allows for more time to think about these subjects. But the works themselves don´t aim to give answers or illustrate my theories about the worlds´ events. They are rather linked leaps of thought that can evoke thoughts or feelings – in me and others. I see my works as conversation starters. They are a vehicle to get people talking to each other, to share
thoughts on the painting and develop ideas together.

If I would disclose my considerations in detail, the course of conversation would be prescribed and limited. If I say about the work „Das Bad“ that it is a play on words and it´s a funny coincidence that today, when there is an increased focus on hygiene, the German word „Bad“ (bathroom) in today's Esperanto means „bad“, but the image also allows conclusions about non-sustainable mass production of goods and seductive marketing methods, the free conversational aspect of the work is destroyed.
But the idea of the painter as a genius with a claim to truth is being perpetuated.
Because it is just as permissible to say: „My mother also had a brush like this in the bathroom, I wonder where it´s gone. You recently helped clearing out the apartment, did you notice it? Do you remember back in the days, how I always....brush....“

Another aspect of my work is imitation or quotation. My paintings are quoting imagery. I am using advertising compositions, but also cinematic elements, snapshot aesthetics and classic iconography. I use pictures that send you to past decades and then again some that refer to 3D software and thus are rooted in our time. The thought that images are encoded with time and offer the possibility to therefore travel through time and space merely by seeing, interests me greatly.
But also from a painterly perspective, it expands the compositional instruments and creates an equal parallelism of motifs on canvas, without neglecting the traditional ideas of landscape painting or portrait or abstraction or figuration.

The idea of quoting and moving through space can also be found in the installation of this exhibition. On one hand, in order to be able to see all the pictures, including the hidden ones, you have to move through the exhibition space and on the other hand I am using the very prominent railing of this room and quote it in different positions.

Photo by Sarah Fripon

Akademie der bildenden Künste

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