It Rocks Us So Hard Ho Ho Ho 1.0

Dirk Skreber

13 April 2001

Oil on canvas 160 x 280 cm Courtesy: Gallery Luis Campaña, Berlín

In the wake of Warhol’s approach to disasters, their iconicity, their potential for representation and their connection with the mediatic image, Dirk Skreber is probably one of the artists most adept at injecting new life into this subject matter, finding new ways for its representation and for its painterly treatment. Skreber’s work is grounded in images found in newspapers or on the net, a source allowing him to confront spectators with visual references such as floods, explosions or car accidents that are part of their everyday lives. Dirk Skreber once claimed that one of the things he is most interested in is their purely physical aspect, the release of energy capable of unfolding in any direction. Nonetheless, a part of that energy is more than physical, for it touches on the exploration of hidden areas of our imagination that are related to the appearance of things, to the aesthetic attraction of horror and catastrophes, to malaise in the world, to the perception of objects. His car accidents do not deploy any particular narrative strategy, placing us instead in a suspended time, exactly at that instant immediately following the accident. Calm and silence contrast with the power released by the impact, whose descriptive density still bears the trace of speed. The monumentality of Skreber’s painting allows the elaborated surface of the work, the painterly matter, to establish a tension with the turbulent nature of the subject matter, the inert materiality of the accident.