Oever Gallery, Ostend, Belgium // June 24, 2023 – August 08, 2023
Oever Gallery is happy to announce their upcoming duo exhibition NEAR/FAR, with artists Lotte Keijzer and Michael Polakowski. NEAR/FAR speaks to the contrast between the chosen subjects of both artists as Lottes paintings are about food and everything that has to do with the subject. Michaels work on the other hand is about the contrast between close up, intimate scenes and far off landscapes and street views.
The title also references the physical distance of both artists to the gallery, which is quite “NEAR” for Lotte Keijzer, who lives in Haarlem, The Netherlands and quite “FAR” for Michael Polakwoski who lives and works in Detroit, USA.
We’ve paired them together for a duo show because we believe they will lift each other to another level. They both paint realistic and very colorful paintings but very different in their techniques and styles. Michaels paintings are very evenly painted, where as Lotte uses more textures.
For this body of work, Lotte Keijzer has been inspired by a topic she absolutely loves – food and anything related to food. This includes the actual eats one consumes but also the setup, pre- paration, cookery, and anything even remotely surrounding cuisine (like doing the dishes). The images she works with for the duo show Near/Far with Michael Polakowski are depictions of simple daily affairs seen through a passionate focus of a kitchen aficionado. Therefore, they’re dished up through a flamboyant technique that elevates them to appear splendid, and nontri- vial. Garnished with a generous sprinkle of comedy they’re unpretentious and straightforward but still contain a slight bite of enigma or paradox. Although stylised and reduced from their actual appearance, it’s the noticeable tactile textures (sand used in the paint of the fries, thick bits of pasta floating around in the dishwater) that remove these visuals from the flatness of the canvas surface, bringing them closer to their multidimensional actuality. That, in combination with an almost absurd bright pigmentation and surprising, exaggerated color shifts, transforms the often dull, mundane activities into playful festivity-like micro scenes of everyday joy and oftentimes, fiasco.
To Michael, this project was the perfect opportunity to take a step back and re- flect from a distance on the city that has inspired him for the past decade of his career. “It’s like closely looking at something from a distance while being rather far from the thing you are looking closely at,” he says.
Check out some of our recent short videos: