Anton Karstel

About the artist

Anton Karstel mentions in his artist statement:

Like many post '60s painters I get a perverse pleasure from working with unadulterated ingredients; that is, I don't stray from the inherited oil on canvas. But instead of attempting to resuscitate the medium I sift through its products, sampling bits of technique. I'm not expressive in my painting and I'm not interested in nurturing a unique signature. I'd rather apply extracts from existing handwork. I also confine myself to the existing forms contained in photographs. The paintings are transcriptions that recontextualize. The isolation of images on the canvas intrigues, similar to the Surrealist strategy of extricating objects in order to discharge meanings.

I have, as an arbitrary constraint, decided to dwell as a subject on images from books, films and photographs that I collected from my family home. This project of extracting material has been ongoing since the mid 1990s. I intend to spend the rest of my adult life rummaging through these husks. A parallel project is to compulsively paint five South African prime ministers. The moral consensus that condemns these men to infamy grants me a license to assault their representations. The portraits range from disfigurement to honorific portraiture. Showing the Apartheid leaders in a positive light elicits reproach, as does  the gratuitous violence of their disfigurement. The point of these paintings is to wade around in this quagmire.

I often install paintings in large combinations. I have also felt free to venture outside painting practice to do installations with found objects, photographs, etc. These projects echo the material in my paintings and include things like the church, the police and labour; subjects that haunt this country's collective memory.

sources consulted:

https://artthrob.co.za/Artbio/Anton_Karstel_by_Chad_Rossouw.aspx

Bikini Girl

Oil on Canvas

400x300mm

2013

Bikini Girl

Oil on Canvas

400x300mm

2013

Bikini Girl

Oil on Canvas

400x300mm

2013

Adderly Street

Oil on Canvas

1070x1300mm

2000

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Conceptual Contemporary Art Gallery

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