IVAR KAASIK - Silikon ValleyIVAR KAASIK - Silikon ValleyIVAR KAASIK - Silikon ValleyIVAR KAASIK - Silikon ValleyJiang Guo Fang - Paintings from the Forbidden City Series Long Night of the Museums

Ivar Kaasik

Ivar Kaasik

Ivar Kaasik

IVAR KAASIK - Silicon Valley
till 17th September, 2009

When you regard the figural paintings from the Estonian painter Ivar Kaasik, there's first of all a feeling like déjà vu: there's evidence to be familiar, not from our daily life, furthermore from a dreamland world or the past, that passes by like a revue on partly surreal and partly real pictures of wide format: Youngsters and half naked men at the swimming pool, surrounded by dogs of different races and fancy cars that could come from the time of the cold war or when cinema heroes like James Dean, Humphrey Bogart und Marilyn Monroe were famous.

Kaasik himself titled his exhibition in Art Center Berlin "Silicon Valley", a term that's in use geographical for the area southeast from San Francisco Bay and also stands for the very successful electronic industry that's based there. He uses the term to name the artificial world that produces only icons instead of reality. Kaasiks way shows us the principles of common pictures from the mass media, he searches for the mechanisms of this media world, the functions as well in communism as in capitalism.

Apparently banal motives in a realistic way of painting don't seem natural but artificial, strange: they become "Silicon Valley". Also because of the blurry factor, that Kaasik uses when he obliterates the outlines, and the typical reduced coloring. In figural paintings in dazzling blue and brown, the use of color emphasizes the emotional coldness between the protagonists: Silicon Valley, a place in a nowhere of human relationships.

Kaasik takes his motives from the phantasmagorical repertoire of east and west, after a phase of reorientation due to his emigration to Berlin 1992, also inspired of the photo- and hyper-realism from the early nineties and from the paintings of Gerhard Richter: Apparently real situations and persons on photo-realistic image, with different effects alienated. Reality is at Kaasik not what exists but what we possibly see, if we see a mixture between reality and dream, memory and fantasy, refined by the artist.

Kaasik doesn't paint the reality, but explores it, chooses subjects that are typical for a certain time and culture, a certain acceptance, even a certain social class: a white horse on a long leash in a living room with teenagers, a window with a view on mountains and glaciers could be an atmosphere of holidays or family meeting with domestic animals or a drug-party between newly-rich youngsters. The horse is a returning subject in Kaasiks works: he is showing the head of the horse as a photo-realistic portrait. On the contrary is the artist in his flower serial more focused on the topic of exotic plants. Like a photographer who is using his lens of the camera to catch every detail of the flowers, is Kaasik concentrated on his theme which he enlarges and projects onto a square canvas whereon the flowers turn into mega-plants.

Ivar Kaasik was born in 1965 in Kingissepa (Aste), Estonia where he witnessed in 1991 the independence of his home country which emancipated of the socialistic Soviet regime. From 1983 till1986 he studied architecture and changed then to art at the Estonian academy of art in Tallinn where he stayed till 1992. Meanwhile he graduated a study in the University of Art and design in Halle, Germany where he learned the art of goldsmithing. In 1996 his goldsmithing won the De Beers prize in Paris. His major passion remains at the sector of art, so he started to expose his paintings world wide since 1988.

In 1996 his works were firstly presented in Berlin, which liberality and directness he appreciates. The city of Berlin, especially as a city of contrasts and of new beginnings, offered the opportunity to enrich the art with new impulses to Kaasik.

Dr. Angelika Leitzke