12/3/08

Patrik Andiné

Patrik-Andine
Angelika Knäpper Gallery
Stockholm, Sweden
Nov-Dec 2008

Patrik Andiné is an artist typical both of his time, generation and geographical location. He is northern European (could be American), male, mid-career, he uses traditional media and excels in the execution of his work. He is obsessive and introverted. But the true trademark of these artists is that they refuse to grow up, obsessed with their own adolescence. All references in the artwork goes back to what the artist lived in this period of his life, describing a total freedom that has been lived in the moment between childhood and adulthood. The young artist lived in the womb of his family and yet he could live in total liberty: taking drugs, exploring casual sex and enjoying music. In short he was formulating who he was to become as an adult. Not only that, but when he woke up hung-over his mother spoiled him and cooked him lavish meals. He lived both the adventure and security - what bliss! But to take the step out of this personal utopia and become an adult, seems to be virtually impossible. To these men, growing up is the biggest threat to that world and is connected with an abysmal fear.

And yet Patrik Andiné’s art has something that beckons our curiosity and sets him apart from the rest. Even though his work is slightly contrived, narcissistic and displays the same trademark mixture of surrealism, fairy tale imagery and popular culture references as his peers, there is a profound difference. He happily agrees that his images are the psychoanalyst’s wet dream. He admits that his world of voyeurism (the child finding out that his parents are sexual beings – ouch!), scout outings (the child finding out that other children are just like him – ouch!) and self-portraits (looking yourself in the mirror and accepting who you are –ouch!) is the absolute opposite of what it gives itself out to be. It is not surreal at all. It is the most ordinary and mundane experience that we can possibly live. It is disguised in the clothes of surreal or the supernatural, because to a child the world is totally incomprehensible. But this is also the reason why the images are so invasive.

Andiné tries to break free from the world that he is enslaved in and that is what sets him apart from his peers. He is looking for a liberty that goes beyond that of the teenager. He tries with all his might to become an adult. His entire artistic oeuvre (and probably his life) is devoted to this struggle. His paintings are unlike most paintings in this world not finished and that endows them with a profound power. They are the testimony of very real wars that he is waging, both on the inside and against the world and his cultural context. They show a man engaged in the process of changing his life. But he does so without going against his own nature. It is here that the work displays how brave he is and also the immense risk that he takes in his work. Despite their conservative appearance and obsessive execution, Andiné’s paintings are one of the few things that are alive in the mental, cultural and human permafrost of the cold north. He is such a contradictory thing as a Swedish rebel. Even when (or maybe because) his paintings depict a masturbatory world, they fight back and refuse to accept the social stereotype that surrounds them.
Per Hüttner

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drivel. Absolute drivel. What do you think you're doing?

12:57 AM  
Anonymous William Shaw said...

Don't believe a word... Great post Per.

11:42 AM  
Blogger David said...

I was lost at "could be American". What's that supposed to mean?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excels in the execution of his work? Thats just plain bad.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Laurent said...

i am not sure about what the swedes are up to. the work looks really boring. but i totally agree with the per that our society gets more and more infantile. the cult of youth and the desperate search for something fresh is daunting. i love the article and i am happy that someone finally dared to address the issue, more of that caliber, please.

3:40 PM  

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