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Weiss Berlin exhibits works by Ali Altin
Installation view.

BERLIN.- The grotesque and the beautiful spring from the formal possibilities of painting by Ali Altin's careful use of various graphic and painterly techniques. His figurative paintings evoke narrative content in mystic figures, objects, and spaces.Ali Altin (* 1976 in Goch, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf. He studied at Arnhem EZ and the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf (class Tal R). His work was exhibited at the Kunsthaus Innsbruck, at Parkhaus Malkasten Düsseldorf, and at Haus Mödrath.

"A nagual is nothing to be encountered. It is a state, an alter ego, which one carries invisibly. Or not? In one of Ali Altin's paintings that I see on the invitation card, such an encounter takes place. A thin young man looks at an amazingly large bird. But their realities do not correspond. The bird painted, the man drawn. A rural encounter, with fence, a church tower or minaret in the background, and color spots on the right, in which another bird and other faces can be seen. A painted dream, moody layers of paint? In Ali Altin's paintings reality is permeable. In color, faces, bodies, hands, even whole scenes seem to be washed to the surface, mysterious, grotesque, eerie, but also humorous and bizarre. In the media world of our day, the nagual, as the Aztecs and other peoples thought of it, did not leave us: the being that controls us, the guardian angel, who can look like an animal because in our unconscious our animal ancestors are still at home. In Altin's pictures, the nagual becomes visible on his own, he appears through painting, rubbed out with the brush, an animistic painting in which the abundance of our contemporary worlds is washed ashore. Girls with pony tails pass smurfs and batmans.

Lately, Altin prepares the animistic horror vacui by pretreating the painted canvases in the washing machine. Here, structures appear that carry Wols, Bellmer and Pollock, and not to be forgotten, the frottages of Max Ernst. These painted readymades require only minor accentuations to be able to subsist as images of fantastic worlds.

Ali Altin's world of figures emerges from the undergrowth of images and times, familiarly near and infinitely distant – at times akin to comic-like sketches, then again as is transferred from a Pompeian villa. One believes to have encountered all these faces, grimaces, and goblins before: in the media or in a dream. Arising from a network of collective intelligence, like that of our bacterial cultures, in paintings, Ali Altin is the medium for this multifarious tangle of mnemosyne (Aby Warburg). Not to form new scenarios, but to create pictures." (Veit Loers)

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