Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Dirty Tricks, Theo Boettger's first solo exhibition at the gallery. Born and raised in former East Germany, Boettger fuses expressive brushstrokes and graffiti style technique with tradition and street art; mixing bright colors with a subtle palette of dark tones and hues.
Boettger's work combines painting, sculpture and installation that ask larger questions about humanity as seen from a personal perspective. The artist observes life in his home city of Berlin, taking in its citizen's response to society's many hardships, the manipulative forces of mass media and the visible excesses of capitalism. He comments on these issues while aligning himself with the individual's struggle against these forces.
Artistic examinations of upheaval in society by means of street observations have a rich historical tradition in Germany. The high point of this tradition was, arguably, the urban painting of Expressionism and Critical Realism in the 1920's. By juxtaposing the rich and the poor, and combining the seemingly limitless possibilities for amusement in Germany's capital Berlin and the individual's experience of social anonymity, artists like George Grosz and Otto Dix often created a very specific tension in their narrative.
Boettger's work seems to draw on this tradition by creating a pandemonium of contemporary life on the brink of the abyss. Drawing from his own personal experiences as an artist living and working in Berlin's historic working class neighbourhoods (Wedding and Neukoelln), Boettger confronts the viewer with demoralising details of social inequality and the apparent hopelessness of the human condition. Rivalling the unemployment rate of the ‘20s, these neighbourhoods have become an infamous testimony to a forgotten youth, where competing gangs fight each other on a daily basis, while others attempt to go about their own "business," but are merely getting by. Boettger's work carries a stark critique of western capitalism as it is prevalent in Berlin and post- reunification Germany.
Theo Boettger was born in Meißen, Germany in 1975 and currently lives and works in Berlin. He holds an MFA, under Professor H. P. Adamski, from the Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden. In 2007 Boettger exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany including Galerie im Schloss Senftenberg, Museum des Landkreises Oberspreewald Lausitz and Gallery Pankow, Berlin. Boettger frequently works in collaboration with German artist Jan Brokof on large scale installations.