Among the ancient Egyptians, Sekhmet, who is depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness, was worshipped as a goddess of war, but also as a goddess of protection against disease and of healing. In the myth The Destruction of Mankind it is told how she kills more and more people in a bloodlust in retaliation for their wickedness and can only be put out of action by a ruse of other gods.
In her role, she remains unfathomable to both gods and humans, and as a figure, ambivalent in her worship.
In his painting bearing the name of the goddess, David Benedikt Wirth approaches these ambivalences in brushstroke after brushstroke. He scans the surface of the original ceramics, discovers nuances, reflections, structures, and translates them with painterly means into an astonishingly realistic image that finally confronts the viewer in life-size. The inconceivability of this female figure is reflected in the brilliance of the painterly representation and invites the viewer to discover it layer by layer in all its ambiguity. […]
Text by Tasja Langenbach, jury member of the NRW.Bank.Art prize 2021