artist / participant

press release

MOGADISHNI CPH is proud to present the solo exhibition by the American artist Andrew Guenther: The Slap of Bird Shit on Wet Pavement. The title of the exhibition is intended to evoke a sound connected to the way the works has been created: a soft base is “hit” by compact materials, which again is “hit” by softer materials. The substances come from different places and the particles are transformed during the working process to a new subject and recognizable figurations. The final image is unlike the slap of bird shit on pavement a highly calculated “mess” and the elaborated picture surface with its respectively vigorous rich and running, fluorescent layers invites the viewer to act as anthropologist and rediscover his own history in the motif. The images emerge as a kind of ghost like, un-focused hallucinations, which mirrors and enhances the artists’ personal experience of the world characterized by a pseudo-order clearly rooted in an unmanageable chaos. A world in which social and cultural mechanisms are out of play and where impulsivity and the vulgar prevails and where an overall meaning in the widespread destructive and negative energies surrounding the human being seems hopelessly hard to fine.

The Brooklyn-based Guenther is inspired not only by the iconography, music and colours of horror movies but also by the gothic blood bath in the etchings of Francisco Goya and the demon visions in the spectacular paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. The works of Guenther are a potent and – not the least- decadent mixture of zombie-cadavers, death metal, bestial human beings and formless animals, rotten sculls, hippie-kitsch, goats, owls, slime, carcasses and stoned teenagers. In his pictures, which often depict the decay of death as mento mori like images, the human figure is examined from a grotesque perspective. The darker side of life, aspects of the unheimliche however never quite overshadow the peace and strange beauty which after all exude from the often symmetrical compositions.

The viewer encounters a number of magical interpretations of a joint and deeply embedded fascination of the cruel and tragically bizarre in such a way in which we can enhance uncontrolled, natural instincts. The sometimes “primitive” aesthetics of Guenther’s works - which also comes in the form of masks, coconuts and complementary colours placed side by side– adds a raw energy and a great visual effect to the works but also helps to clarify an arbitrary, original or basic experience.

Andrew Guenther is born in Wheaton, Illinois and graduated from Mason Gross School of Arts, Rutgers University in 2000. His works has previously among other places been shown at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (N.Y.), David Castillo Gallery (Miami) and Daniel Silverstein Gallery (N.Y.).

Andrew Guenther: The Slap of Bird Shit on Wet Pavement