Two things distinguishing contemporary painting are familiarity and its misplacement. The inundation of sensationalism has ingrained a response to a leg wrapped in a fishnet stocking, a slender foot fitted in shiny platfrom heels. The image is so common it’s easy to make the association of its context. What if its only the leg though, and not just a pair but a dozen or so, each tangled in some impossible appendage collage? Swiss artist Till Rabus accomplishes this disorientation of the familiar, his realism unmistakable, its placement unbelievable. Mutilation is one way to defy what is given directly. Familiarity wears down the senses, everyday life eroding the authenticity of experience. Unless you skew it; malign the contents of your fridge, or even the construction of the fridge door so it doesn’t appear the same as every time you open it. Maraschino cherries mashed in gore and burnt broken fragments turn you appetite rancid in the warped reflection of yourself on engorged drops of blood. Rabus’ carnal concoctions get as close to representation as technically possible within the medium. The presentations, on the other hand, place you somewhere not so much as foreign but with enough removal to uncover unrecognized aspects of what was already there. Some of it speaks to the compulsion of consumption, libidos and stomachs that squirm uncontrollably, or the urge to rearrange nature to fill the eye with a simulation palpable to thought patterns.
-Howard Brad Halverson