In this series, Martin Paaskesen has made a deliberate choice to focus on a particular subject – the shark. This decision has established a dogma within his artistic practice, representing a fresh approach to his work.
Opting for a specific subject might initially appear limiting, but it is, in reality, an emancipating step that frees him from the constraints of an overburdened mind. This liberation opens up mental space for the exploration and refinement of the core facets of his practice: composition, omission and expression.
In Paaskesen’s artistic process the shark is seen just as much as an abstract element as it is a figurative sea creature. It is a chosen object made to work also as an invitation for the viewer to dwell at the underlying minimalistic and abstract notions behind his works.
But the shark is not a coincidence. Paaskesen has chosen to work with the shark as it is a conspicuous and familiar figure which makes it instantly appealing.
It is a pop-culture icon that resembles masculinity, evil, fear, and power but also prejudice. To combine that with the femininity, beauty and goodness in the color pink, it creates a strong and almost banal contrast which Paaskesen easily sees himself in, both considered his upbringing in a non-creative environment, as well as being a human in the contemporary, high-velocity, and mental health-centric society of today.
”The shark is misunderstood on multiple levels. Statistically, it is not particularly dangerous. A hippo kills far more people, yet the shark has become the subject of fear and trepidation. Entirely irrational.” Martin Paaskesen explains.
The inspiration for this series comes partly from his long time fascination with Cy Twombly, and especially the floral paintings, hence the title of the exhibition: Flower Garden.
“Twombly’s emancipation within his language, compositions, fortuities, and simultaneous control, stands as profoundly pivotal to human existence. It is a universal manifestation, one that I, alongside numerous others, proudly stand upon the shoulders of” Martin Paaskesen concludes.