“The paintings are beautifully grotesque and at one with the human condition. The bubbling and fungal masses are crude stand-ins for our own nature of fucking, feasting and dying”
There are elements in this work that I can trace though I am no investigator of painting at large. They are people reduced to shape, huddled masses, a incomplete agoraphobia from a position of solitude not unlike a wary eye cast from the unholiest of mountains. There is Man Ray’s “The Enigma of Isadore Ducasse”, a sewing machine bound under cloth so perfectly that the crime scene is indiscernible outside that of a Peugeot trunk.
There is a distance in these images. They are abstract for sure, the palette reminiscent of what I might expect to find at the bottom of the picture plain in Rembrandt’s “Abattoir”. I might see the lumps of fat, lipid lymphomal glandular processing remnants slithering off the base of the frame if I were not careful to step away. There is a convulsion within. The right side of my brain inaugurates into the cage of exfoliation and I feel the constant grating on its surface will muster up a new vision. It will dust off the paradigm of recognition I once had under the slavery of a fire that St. Elmo could not produce for Andy Warhol. Its seethes, it does indeed despise.
“There is Man Ray’s “The Enigma of Isadore Ducasse”, a sewing machine bound under cloth so perfectly that the crime scene is indiscernible outside that of a Peugeot trunk”
The work, with all metaphor aside, is biomorphic, ethereal and crafted from a hemisphere of inadvertent memory that seems to calculate a mysticism within the abstraction above our earthen faculties. The paintings are beautifully grotesque and at one with the human condition. The bubbling and fungal masses are crude stand-ins for our own nature of fucking, feasting and dying. There are drips of fat and the sprouting of mold on our surfaces, both real and imagined. I consider these mysterious blobs and shapes, these tied and bound masses to live in a parallel universe where they communicate hymns as they seem so very active on the canvas. They exist in a society of their own and when assembled together and remind me of wax, of honey and of decay.
The work of Joseba Eskubi is something that I have not encountered. It seems like this is perhaps what George Condo would do if he did not have to make cartoons for the idiot children in the art and media worlds, only this is much better and facilitates the possibility that I as a viewer, can sympathetically engage with myself to read the surface, the carnage of unfixed object and protract from within myself a reaction to a foreign and familiar body of work.
(All Rights Reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Joseba Eskubi.)