TILL RABUS PORCUS TROIANUS
Till Rabus’s paintings begin with an installation. The first step involves inventing a subject and leaving it to compost, burdening the table. Then comes the lengthy process of interpreting the result in paint on canvas.
Till Rabus’s art echoes the concerns of the American hyper-realist movement, particularly their keen interest in reflections and shiny surfaces; yet he also manipulates the unspoken lore of art history to his own ends, often with a keen sense of the ridiculous, slyly ribald allusions, and irony suffused with critical considerations on our consumer society. The results are unsettling: a constructivist block comes crashing down onto a Dutch golden age still life; a work of minimalist geometry drips with mayonnaise; strawberry sweets and popcorn form Surrealist landscapes.
The motifs evoke the vanitas tradition. The fish, game, fruit, and vegetables are arranged in a delicate balance or frozen into assemblages bursting with potential imagery. The paint captures it all on the verge of melting, falling, rotting, putting a stop to the misleading images. Like Petronius’s sausage-stuffed “Trojan pig”, Till Rabus’s paintings play with outward appearances: fine dining, junk food, grand masters, and pop culture all cheerfully swap identities in a multi-layered celebration of false pretences.
Till Rabus was born in 1975. He lives and works in Neuchâtel.