Eberhard Havekost
Germany, 1967
After completing an internship as a stonemason until 1985, Eberhard Havekost did his studies at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden, where he studied under Ralf Kerbach, a key figure among the Neo-Impressionists painters of the 1980s. With the help of grants he was awarded for two consecutive years, he began to show his work regularly in the late 2000s. Since then he has lived in Berlin and Dresden and is part of a major school of self-reflective painting based in the German capital. His work process begins with his own photographs or images culled from the media. Havekost takes these slices of reality, usually extreme close-ups or vanishing-point or diagonal perspectives, and alters them using computerised methods. On the canvas, he starts trying out synthetic textures to reproduce the flat surfaces in layers that fulfil the viewer’s expectation of what a figurative image should be. The result is a manifesto on the limitations of perception: against the illusionism of the traditional window perspective of classical painting—an exercise in literalism lacking in narrative tension—the real appears as an optical question more than a description in paintings that the artist calls user interfaces. His thematic motifs relate to prosaic elements of contemporary architecture, such as the anonymous façades of residential blocks and the designer objects generated by modernity. Torso 2 B06, for example, takes a title of the kind used to label sculptural antiquities in museums of art history and uses it to refer to a plain-old armchair, as if it were a relic from some indeterminate past, catalogued and embalmed in paint in a way that divorces it from its original use. Works by Havekost are held in the collections of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, the Saatchi Collection, and the collection of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since 2010 he has been a lecturer at the Kunsthochschule, a prestigious art school in Düsseldorf.
Manuel Segade