Preview :: Children of the Revolution
May 10th 2013
‘Valentina’, Oil on canvas, 180x160cm
Take a step back in time to the 1950s. Picture perfect pin-up girls radiate sex and sassiness with pouting rouge lips.
Now jump into the DeLorean to delve even further back in history. After pressing a few mysterious time-travelling buttons, we are now in Soviet Russia, where men and women toil under a communist regime to defend the motherland.
Why have I taken you to these two very different realities, you ask?
Figurative artist Kathrin Longhurst juxtaposes beautiful women with the harsh realities of war.
The naked flesh, flawless skin and delicate hands starkly contrast harsh and constricting Soviet helmets and visors.
Mixing these two topics seems… just obscure. It is a bubbling cauldron of creativeness with mix-matched ingredients. You never thought it would have worked but suddenly you realise there was nothing to be afraid of.
In Children of the Revolution, Kathrin Longhurst takes a handful of femininity, a pinch of masculinity and a stem of war. When walking into the room, the large-scale paintings create a confronting viewing experience.
The life like images are painted with exquisite detail and precision. You’ll keep asking yourself- is this a photograph or a painting?
Even knowing the artist used oils, you may have to touch nose to canvas to detect any brush strokes.
‘Djersky’, 2013, Oil on canvas, 76x70cm
Kathrin knows a thing or two about living under a communist regime, having spent her childhood in East Germany, brought up behind the Berlin Wall. The bold colour schemes and use of Russian text shout communist propaganda.
The artist brings Russian text in her work to emphasise the satirical agenda. Hiding behind the heads of the women are obscured words, visually reminiscent of glossy magazine covers. A reference to political propaganda, ‘The motherland is calling’? Google translate says no… Instead you will find provocative words like ‘naughty’, ‘snob’ and ‘bitch’.
Kathrin manages to paint beautiful works while satirising, provoking and causing her audience to fasten on their thinking caps.
Children of the Revolution is a powerful exhibition bonding awe-inspiring technical skill with a thought-provoking concept.