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Martin Eder

Martin Eder

Martin Eder is a German artist known as the master of ‘surreal kitsch’. Recognised for his hyper-realistic paintings that possess an absurd or unsettling element, Eder probes capitalist society’s constructs of beauty and desirability with a captivating mix of sarcasm, vivid colour, and garishness.

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HENI NEWS

Martin Eder work sells for 275% Above Estimate at Auction

Martin Eder work sells for 275% Above Estimate at Auction

HENI News · 17 Jul, 2024 @ 02:31

Martin Eder, Das Morgengebet - The Morning Prayer (2005), sold for $26,400, more than three and a half times the low estimate at Sotheby's, Online. Oil On Canvas, 240.0 x 180.3cm. The work has been traded once in the past.

8 Must-See Solo Gallery Shows Around the Country in June

8 Must-See Solo Gallery Shows Around the Country in June

Galerie · 04 Jun, 2024 @ 21:48

Elisabetta Zangrandi at Keyes Art, Sag Harbor A self-taught artist who paints visionary landscapes inhabited by flora and fauna, Elisabetta Zangrandi made her way into the international art world from her home in the Italian countryside via Instagram.

Marlborough Gallery ends historic run with gloriously unhinged Martin Eder show

Marlborough Gallery ends historic run with gloriously unhinged Martin Eder show

The Art Newspaper · 29 May, 2024 @ 07:00

But Marlborough’s final contemporary art exhibition in New York is such an absurd, provocative, fantastical and refreshing departure from the norm that the gallery seems to have felt compelled to articulate a pre-emptive defense of Martin Eder’s DETOX (until 29 June).

 

About the Artist

Martin Eder is a German artist known as the master of ‘surreal kitsch’. Recognised for his hyper-realistic paintings that possess an absurd or unsettling element, Eder probes capitalist society’s constructs of beauty and desirability with a captivating mix of sarcasm, vivid colour, and garishness.

Born in Augsburg, Germany in 1968, Eder studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg and, later, at the Dresden College of Fine Arts. His artistic pursuits are wide-reaching, and he produces art across mediums, including sculpture, painting, photography, performance, and music. He continues to perform as a founding member of the metal band Ruin.

Eder’s creative perspective when viewing the world around him manifests in a particularly distinct and arresting visual arts practice. Unafraid to observe and draw from the aspects of life that he believes often intimidate, disgust, or are frowned upon by other artists, Eder is able to see the ‘beauty in filth’. He is inspired by the interesting visual phenomena and colour combinations that are found in the grimy parts of our world, such as the undergrowth on the side of a highway or the edges of a service station parking lot. These spaces offer up a wealth of sensory triggers, from vomit to colourful, shiny discarded crisp wrappers, that represent the inherent tensions between beauty and disgust that exist around us.

In his paintings in particular, Eder explores these seemingly opposing forces, constructing a world in which the boundary between the two is perhaps less solid than generally assumed. In his ‘Phantasma’ cycle of work, completed in 2021, wrinkly, alien-like sphinx cats glare out at the viewer against cotton candy skies of soft pink and blue, simultaneously visually arresting and unsettling. Similarly, soft neon and pastel reflections shimmer off the oily, cellulite-strewn buttocks of nude figures shown only from the waist down, physically vulnerable and exposed as their detached forms fill the image frame. Once again, there is a push and pull between beauty and desire and unease or revulsion.

Eder not only forces the viewer to question constructs of desirability but also the very nature of art, creating subversive paintings that seek to challenge the ‘fine art’ paradigm. His paintings are often populated by the most cliché of figures: fluffy animals such as kittens and bunny rabbits or beautiful young girls. Eder paints them in a hyper-realist style that simultaneously highlights his skilled brushwork, pandering to the fine art establishment, but is also reminiscent of nostalgic kitsch products. Appearing against bright, splashy colours evoking adverts or children’s t-shirts, these figures create a juxtaposition between reality and a blatant artificiality that highlight the absurdity of art in a capitalist society.

In doing so, Eder constructs a surreal world that the viewer struggles to identify as sweet dream or nightmare, incorporating aspects of his studies of hypnosis and psychoanalysis into his works. Eder’s paradox is that in his bombastic alternate universe, we are forced to reckon with the reality that revulsion and desire, the grotesque and the beautiful, are often intermingled, while the boundaries between high art, cliché, and commodity become almost indiscernible. Eder’s daring compositions challenge not just the way we see art but the very essence of our sensory experiences.

Interested in Martin Eder?