In the Kaleidoscope of Possibilities
Stephan Widera’s painted collages piece the world together in a new way, leaving nothing out that constitutes social reality. Whether advertising, consumerism and merchandise; the pharma industry; porn and eroticism; fashions and the so-called zeitgeist – nothing escapes Stephan Widera’s eye. He jauntily blends the historic with the modern, the serious with the banal, and incorporates slogans and headlines in his surreal visual worlds.
For this kaleidoscope of possibilities, Stephan Widera draws on material from the world of popular images and media, the origins of which always remain identifiable.
Stephan Widera’s pictures are both colourful and playful. He appears to put together his works randomly with the seeming innocence of a child. However, what initially evokes an amused grin from the beholder soon takes on a life of its own with completely new potential relationships, sometimes acerbic, sometimes cheerful, but always with ironic clarity concealed behind it all.
It is with the same inscrutably humorous consideration that Stephan Widera devotes himself to art history. He counters the spirit of pop art with his highly charged social references. He allows constructivism to perform a fleet-footed, virtuoso dance. There is a nod to Vladimir Tatlin and Oskar Schlemmer.
What is striking about Stephan Widera’s worlds is that there are no individualists, which is surely an accurate commentary on our current society. Stephan Widera’s pictures expose the mechanisms of propaganda and slogans as society constituting reality. Seen in this way, Stephan Widera is using his absurd visual worlds to not only actively engage in media and social critique, but also valid art critique – and does so with a charming twinkle in his eye.
Excerpt from a text of Dr. Stefanie Lucci
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