Andy Denzler Paintings – Hyperreality And The Decisive Moment In Our Society

Andy Denzler’s ‘glitch’ paintings exhibition (Just Another Day In Paradise) is a commentary on the one hand, on the illusion and reality in our society; and on the other, the ephemerality of our existence. Those fleeting moments of despair, disgust, sexual desire and loneliness, captured in the most intimate settings, bring to mind Henri Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’ in photography. It is also no accident that pale, low-chroma colors are used, giving them a nostalgic impression, like analog photos from over 25 years ago that have faded over time.

These techniques allow the viewer see the fakeness of photo-realism and the illusion of reality. A reality which nowadays has been hijacked by images fed to us every conscious hour of our lives; hyped up, Photoshopped to perfection, always in excess, they have become more real than reality itself, a simulated ‘hyperreality’ or what philosopher Jean Baudrillard calls ‘similacra’. What has become of our society is that reality is not what we gain from direct experience, but what we see on TV, a successive bombardment of information-rich similacra, slowly dissolving into our minds, replacing what we once thought was real.

Andy Denzler himself refers to Baudrillard and hyperreality when asked about the meaning of his work, which may explain the sarcasm involved in the title of the exhibition (Just Another Day In Paradise), a ‘paradise’ in which we can’t tell what’s fiction and what’s real anymore and where our lives has become a fragmented series of ‘perpetual presents’ where things may happen logically, in sequence, or they maybe totally random, where one thing does not necessarily lead to another. In this state, cause and effect is not a given; it’s not a ‘truth’ anymore. Our memories, which once not long ago was clear and true, has become blurry.

There are 2 layers involved in the process of production for these paintings: the first is painted photo-realistically, according to the source photo and allowed to dry. The second layer is painted on abstractly, with fluid brush strokes, and then sections of it are then scraped off, revealing the realistic layer underneath. This can be seen as an act of ‘deconstruction’. In Black Flower Dress (2013) strips of it are realistically painted, providing a feel of the underlying materiality of the dress itself. This, contrasted with the rest of the blurred vision, provides a contrast between the memory of the past and our perpetual present.