The series HEADS by DENKSTAHL reinvents portraiture with political, religious and historical content. His digital collages are rich in well-known symbols and new-modern logos. The symbols make the artworks a narrative. With his pictures, DENKSTAHL tells his own version of the story. Well-known personalities put their necks on the line in a dignified way.
The stars of our world are not only famous musicians, athletes, politicians, clerics, artists and thinkers, but also Burger King, McDonald‘s, Starbucks, Shell, Apple, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Mercedes, Smith & Wesson, Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. The stars of our time include certain nation states; their most meaningful symbol is the inviolable national flag. The way that AL portrays these personas, these global players, in his graphics, are convincingly critical. The expressive heads (originally photographs) are presented in bright colors, and they are transferred into another context of meaning, in a beautiful colorful illusory world. This beautiful colorful illusory world shatters when taking a closer look at the multi-layered portraits. The symbolic language of the artist is very strong. A considerable part of the statement are his picture titles.
The HEADS series is growing; it now consists of three chapters. The following is about the first chapter called WARPAINTING.
Stars & Stripes
We Don't Love It
HEADS – STARS
HEADS – WARPAINTING
WARPAINTING brings a piece of Native American history to life. DENKSTAHL had read the non-fiction book »Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee«, published in 1970. He was visibly touched by the description of the massacre and the last resistance of the Natives against the white man. The artist regards the portraits of the Native Americans as war-painting. The painting of the face and chest in particular was of great importance to Native American warriors.
Valley Of Tears
We Don’t Love It is the portrait of Chief Joseph, whose face is painted with the red and yellow logo of the famous fast food chain. »We do not love it« is the chief‘s response to the well-known slogan »I‘m lovin‘ it«.
Valley Of Tears is the name of a Native American woman. Her face is painted with the logo of the largest handgun manufacturer in North America. »Valley of Tears« is an allusion to the Silicon Valley in California – a location that is considered the world‘s most powerful in terms of IT and high-tech industry.
Short Message is the name of Chief Child, whose face is painted with the bird symbol of a famous short message service. The man surrounded by stars has red-painted lips and his eyes are bloodthirsty. In this context, the red stands for war and for the bloodshed. The »short message« of the digitally painted Native American is clear.
Indian To Go
They Shot Them
The DENKSTAHL portraits involuntarily raise the topic of identity, belonging and demarcation. But the terms »Indian« or »white man« are wrong, because they are imposed by »outside« and the »other«. The Native Americans do not call themselves Indians. Consequently, in the series War-Paintings, the artist is not concerned with »the Indians«, but with the identification of certain power structures.
At the same time, DENKSTAHL’s critical contemplation of our cultural history and the present situation is a statement about our world and the question of being human. Even if the artist makes political references to his art, his concern is more of a philosophical nature. The question of identity and being human arises for every human being. It goes hand in hand with the question of »who am I?« and with the mandate of self-empowerment; it becomes an existential question if one does not want to leave it to the determinants of the »stars« or any conceptions of humanism.
»I DON’T FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.
I FIGHT FOR HUMANS TO BE RIGHT IN THEIR HEART.« DENKSTAHL
DENKSTAHL shows another facet of STARS in the second part of the HEADS series, in which he portrays prominent personalities of our contemporary history. These include film stars, music stars, art stars, political stars and sports stars of our pop culture; Geniuses, heroes and legends like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Dali, Picasso, Beethoven, Goethe, Albert Einstein, Johnny Depp, Steve McQueen.
In the third chapter of HEADS called ME, MYSELF & ART, DENKSTAHL portrays the faces and stories of inspiring people who are stars of everyday life and rock their stage in their own way.
The pictures presented in our art blog are purchasable as DENKSTAHL UNIQUE PIECES, if they are still available.
A DENKSTAHL UNIQUE PIECE is a high-gloss print with pigmented ink on high-quality photo paper, laminated behind acrylic glass and reinforced by an aluminum back. Each unique piece is stamped with an artist’s stamp. For each artwork you will receive a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and the biographical art book DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind, which will be dedicated to you.
If you are interested in an artwork, please send us your inquiry via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send us your request via a WhatsApp message to +49 1772851804.