WT Foundation

P. C. P.
Professional Camouflage Painters

Artist : Botond Keresztesi
Curated by Peter Bencze

Opening : 9.11.20
Duration 9.11.20-10.01.21

Romanian-born and Budapest-based artist Botond Keresztesi’s paintings strike a playful tone with nostalgia through a unique perspective that’s rooted in the autobiographical and expands into the universal. Capturing the chaotic evolution of collective cultural iconography, his work collapses ancient and futuristic timelines, High and Low Art, and the local and global into a single frame.

Comparing his works to ‘flea markets’, Keresztesi creates democratic constellations of images within painterly multiverses located outside of traditional space-time. From ancient times to a cyborgian future, there is no hierarchy between cultural icons and everyday items on his canvases; lava lamps, Iphones and details from Hieronymus Bosch and Caravaggio works share body parts with mythical animals, Ancient greek sculptures, sphinxes and surveillance cameras. These icons are often conjured forth from his random, intuitive associations, plastered across atemporal landscapes that oscillate between utopia and dystopia. He draws on 20th century art history including metaphysical painting and surrealism, citing Giorgio de Chirico, Rene Magritte and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as influences. Playing with notions of authorship and authenticity, he inserts his own hybrid characters into iconic works by the likes of Henri Matisse and Édouard Manet. In his recent series inspired by Torok Janos’s famous models for Zsolnay porcelain, the artist crosses the delicate figures with shiny telescopes, transporting the classical forms into a futuristic experimental laboratory.

As a member of the ‘analog’ Y generation, Keresztesi’s interest in the aesthetics of technology stems in large part from having lived through an ongoing period of rapid digitalization, the contradictions of which are manifested in his eclectic visual world. He is drawn to metallic surfaces in the paintings as constant reflections of their changing environment, echoing the mimetic processes within postmodern aesthetics that are constantly accelerated by cyber culture.

While posing as a visual archive of the artist’s subjective autobiography, Keresztesi’s landscapes simultaneously present a kind of trans-evolutionary profile of humanity. He paints culture as something that’s constantly recycled - whether through art, technology or the subconscious. As the artist said in an interview, ‘there is no eternal material object or artwork’; his world confronts the viewer with the relativity of cultural heritage and identity, while maintaining a crucial sense of humour.

- Sonja Teszler