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Marlon Wobst likes to play with perspectives when he paints – and if that sounds like a statement that might apply to thousands of painters, then indeed it might. But few manage to interrogate this, one of the fundamental aspects of painting, in quite the way this German artist, still finishing his masters degree at Berlin’s Universität der Künste, does.
Following his earlier figurative realist paintings, in which he used the horizon to divide and define his images, Wobst’s newest pieces change the way we look at things not through the inclusion of a constantly moving skyline, but by not including one at all. This lack of a horizon creates a new level in which, according to Wobst, ‘there is no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel, no frontier through which something might still happen’.
Colours blend and fade, darken and lighten, but never show us where to focus. Is it the faceless man, like an accidental smudge in the middle of the canvas, we should be looking at? Or is it the shades of blue that seem to hold him in the air, as if hanging? With no horizon to cling to as you take your first look at these mysterious, pleasurably disturbing paintings, you’ll be the judge.