Self shows a close-up portrait of a woman […]. A mask-like painting appears on the face, which makes the hyperrealistic painting appear slightly abstract. The cropping focuses on the face in close-up. The dark green eyes stand out due to the clarity and the naturalistically executed area of the eyes. The plump lips are pursed and form a light kissing mouth. In the picture, David Benedikt Wirth focuses particularly on the makeup contouring, which forms a strong contrast to the natural skin color and the shape of the head. The makeup application consists of a light and dark skin tone. a dark brown line marks the shape of the face and connects the two eyebrows to the nose. Between this graphic-looking marker, a light skin tone is applied to the cheeks and chin. within both eyebrows on the forehead, a light semicircle is formed, emphasizing the upper part of the head. The contouring contrasts with the natural skin color and is reminiscent of the face paint used by indigenous tribes. David Benedikt Wirth discovered this image on the internet as a representative representation of a make-up tutorial. Fascinated by its artificiality and beauty, the artist decided to transfer the motif into painting.
In his art, he is particularly interested in the significance of images in a digital context. Society receives images on a daily basis via social media and other online platforms. in recent years, a new ideal of beauty has emerged through the deliberate presentation of selfies. The public display of the special effect of make-up on the face can greatly change the shape of the face and how it is perceived.
The painting of David Benedikt Wirth is exhibited in the context of the paintings of the New Objectivity in the exhibition at the Museum Haus Opherdicke. It illustrates the cool, objective view of the New Woman in the 1920s, to whom objectivity meant more than flawless beauty. The work self shows an aesthetic, photorealistic rendering of a young woman, borrowed from social media on the internet. The artist’s choice of image and execution revisits the subject and history of painting. Contouring echoes ancient paintings in a profane context and connects past and future.
Text by Wilko Austermann, Arne Reimann from the catalogue Face to Face, Porträts aus der Sammlung Frank Brabant und Gäste

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