DON’T YOU KNOW YOU’RE LIFE ITSELF, Troels Carlsen
Troels Carlsen’s latest body of work operates in a place of willful uncertainty-ambiguous, in limbo. It crackles with narrative potential, flirting with the hazy parameters of plot before dissolving into mystery. Divided into three loose, separate types, the paintings in “Don’t You Know You’re Life Itself” swerve between contradictory modes: earnest, heroic, mystical, absurdly slapstick.
While Carlsen is best known for his mixed-media efforts augmenting and painting over existing vintage drawings and engravings--conjuring impossible bestiaries out of straightforward human anatomy--the artist here refrains from exploiting such found materials as a launch pad. But some things haven’t changed. For over a decade, Carlsen explains, he has remained fascinated by “this undefined, complex meeting between the animal and human worlds.” As such, it’s hard to tell who the protagonists are meant to be in these paintings: The doctor poised by the operating table, or the falcon, felled by some unknown malady, its head enclosed in a plastic bubble? Carlsen’s compositions, divorced from any explanation, beg for a context to be invented.
Essay by Scott Indrisek, Editior-in-chief - Modern Painters
300 x 250 mm