ANDREAS GRIMM MUNCHEN is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition by French artist Damien Cadio (born 1975, Mont Saint Aignan, France) The exhibition will show 11 new paintings made in 2010 and 2011.
“The beauty of the gesture, the beauty of the deconstructed thought, the beauty to understand something but not everything.” (Damien Cadio)
Damien Cadio’s paintings seem like stills taken from a David Lynch movie: sinister, mysterious, threatening. Many of his subjects appear to be almost banal, but because of his own aesthetic signature his works give the impression of a latent menace. The depiction of the threat is rarely explicit, but it is the coherent thread that unites his entire oeuvre.
Initially, the naturalistic portrait of a bird’s head (Cold blood, old times, 2011) does not appear to be frightening, but the reduced palette and framing of the image detail manage to create a feeling of unease. The bird’s head is one of the 9 exhibited smaller paintings, in which the strong influence of film aesthetics on Cadio’s work is quite obvious. Like close-ups in a movie, the artist allows the viewer just a little peek inside his world. The possibility to interpret the portrayed subjects in a wider, meaningful context is denied. Maybe his paintings seem to have such an intense effect on us because Cadio follows the rules of someone like Jacques Tourneur or Alfred Hitchcock: it is what you do not see, the threat in the dark, which produces the greatest terror.
Even the yellow color in his larger painting of a deep-sea diver (“Rocket, Take Your Turn,“ 2010) does not seem to be sunny and inviting, but, in the tradition of the Brücke painter, rather aggravating and appalling in its garishness. The deep-sea diver is one of two larger paintings in this exhibition. The second one shows a naked, bearded man, whose face is made up like a clown (“Set the Suntrols to the Hearth of the Con,” 2010). Looking at this work some viewers may think of the infamous American serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who often appeared dressed as a clown.
In the spirit of the 21st century Cadio finds his motifs via Google and Co.. Therefore it is quite possible that some of his paintings awake a certain degree of familiarity. Nevertheless, the artist manages to turn his collected internet findings into uncanny, mysterious icons. Through the movie inspired technique of dramatization, the known and locatable motif is either renounced or strengthened in its meaning. While viewing the works of Damien Cadio questions arise as to the informational value of an image occur. The supersaturated viewer of today has to ask him- or herself about the purpose of the paintings: Do they convey information by simplifying them? Or do they strengthen some hidden meaning that, without the artistic perspective, would never have come to light?
The narrative presentation of the work, emphasizes the artistic ambiguities and allows the images and their strange stories to oscillate.