16th February - 24th March 2018
With its focus on Outsider Art, the DIRECT ART GALLERY aims to discover and support artistic positions crossing borders of Contemporary Art. For the first time, the DIRECT ART GALLERY shows works by the photographer Christine Denck. Born in 1966, the Berlin-based artist has been photographing since she was 14 years old, taking camera tours as a „picture hunter“, in search of the unusual in the everyday life. She also creates short films whose concept, direction, camera and editing are completely in her hands. Another focus of her work is portraiture.
Her images of people touch deeply, tell stories, demand the undivided attention of the viewer. Christine Denck crystallizes the big life themes out of her strong portrait works: people who question their own identity, people who seek to understand the world. All this culminates in the questioning look of the crouching unclothed woman in the work „exposed“, which shows all dimensions of the personality in an uncompromising close-up. Exhibited, lit up, almost delivered, that’s what the fragile-looking protagonist looks like, but she asserts herself in the midst of the staring mannequins through her steady, alert gaze, which reveals its very own. Woman and doll seem to formally align with each other – a perfectly illuminated game of vivacity and solidification.
In the photograph „forever young“, it is also the direct and unfathomable glimpse of a 17-year-old girl who forces the viewer to look at her. Her eyes light up with high intensity from the masquerade of make-up, glitter and impeccability, captured at the moment of a twisting movement, balanced by the semicircle of a fan. Despite its glamorous appearance, a strangely grave shadow lies on the „eternal youth.“ In fact, the young woman died a few months after the portrait was made.
Christine Denck’s works visualize existential emotions. Her photographs „surprice surprice“ and „she has been sleeping too long“ each depict a woman in a sleeping dress, who has obviously overslept the demolition of her own home and now stands stunned in the middle of a rubble building. The absurdity of the situation, however, also gives fears room: loss of domestic protection, forlornness and and disorientation, standing on the edge.
Denck’s works, which are based in the cowboy romance of the Wild West, reflect the unbridled yearning for freedom. Similar to the iconic series „Cowboys“ by Richard Prince, which cites excerpts from Marlboro ads, the feeling of nonchalance and untamed life is staged. In „chicas y ponies“, the rider’s focus is more on the bottle of whiskey and not on the anatomical problematic of the horse, which despite all dynamics cannot get away from his position.
The photographer Christine Denck wants to break up stereotypes.In her depictions, she transposes the models – or herself – in inverted, peculiar poses, in special roles or unusual contexts. This creates situations, which are „out of reality“ and do not conform to any common image concept.
DIRECT ART GALLERY
The DIRECT ART GALLERY is a non-profit gallery aiming to empower artists with psychic and mental handicap. It is practiced by the Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung (www.aktion-kunst-stiftung.de) and located in the center of galleries and museums in Düsseldorf. Next to classic works in the field of Outsider Art, the DIRECT ART GALLERY also presents young and contemporary art.