The wonderful acrylic paintings of Eckart Hahn
With technical skill almost comparable to Rubens, the German artist Eckhart Hahn has rendered a painstaking variation on the Adoration of the Magi (Anbetung der Könige, 2011). The main difference between the Hahn and the Rubens though, is that to adorn the shoulders of the Magi Hahn has forgone the rich folds of Oriental textiles for the crinkles of plastic bags from Adidas, DM and Edeka.
Were these bag-figures staged as photographs, or assembled together as collages, the result could perhaps be conceptually a bit trite. But the thought that such works have not been just months but years in the making, realized with the help of dazzling technical skill and intent, makes one pause and absorb a bit.
Hahn’s paintings and installations, which can act as visual puns on old myths and fairy tales as well as on Old Master themes, insist that we look at where, and how, we get our knowledge these days. How much of what we “see” when we look at something comes from “reality”? Or does it come from the trash can? Is “reality,” indeed, in the trash can?
If so, how can we reuse and recycle it in a way that we honor what it was before it got there? I would venture that Hahn takes a worthy, skillful crack at it.
This guy is on fire.