24. June – 18. August 2022
In his exhibition Urban Picnic, Sebastian Maas reinterprets the recurring theme of the picnic in art history, collaging it with impressions and social features of the current Zeitgeist. The works confront the viewers with their own perception of the world and leave it up to them to make the connection between entertainment and social mirror.
Again and again the self-portrait appears as a motif. As a basis serves a photo that he used ten years ago on various dating platforms. For him, the image is sufficiently charged by expectation and affectation to be able to use it in his work. An app makes it possible to merge this selfie with the face of a complete stranger. The reason for this was the observation in which women's faces are clearly more suitable than men's faces. The contrast to the original, both the image of the woman who is a stranger to him and the photo he is very familiar with, is so high that a new persona is created. The fact that this persona is actually created by the neutral computing power of an algorithm has a rather humorous effect in the app's appearance. The painting allows humor and classical portrait work to be precisely adjusted and gender as well as society to be considered.
Maas assembles the various elements of the scenic works from found objects on the Internet, fictional elements, or private photographs. The resulting composition suggests a narrative; but never a final interpretation. The individual elements take on a largely equal role in the composition; in this, a color surface is just as important as the figure next to it. Together, something seductive to the eye and challenging to the mind should emerge.