Solo booth with Tanja Ritterbex
Ornis A. Gallery proudly presents Dutch artist Tanja Ritterbex (1985). Ritterbex makes use of her own personal experiences; they function as a fundamental starting point for her creative projects. She defines her work as an absurdist artistic diary.
At Art Rotterdam, will be showing a number of her recently made paintings, which she created being an artist in residence at Bronner, Tel Aviv. It is in this new working-context that she became fascinated or inspired by the theme of the eastern traditions and rituals, such as collectively smoking the ‘Hookah’ (pneumatic water pipe). Furthermore, the recently produced video ‘To avoid likes and dislikes’ will be on display at this show.
This film finds its core in the universal contradiction between concepts of the beautiful and the ugly – here manifested in the frequently returning image of snails crossing shiny pearls or in the surreal fragment of a man who seems to carelessly visit a sugar-coated coloured candy shop in Tel Aviv while at the same time carrying a gun.
From this point on, Ritterbex draws on the facets of contemporary exhibitionism, present in diverse forms of social media. Typically for our current zeitgeist is boundlessly sharing our moments of hysteric euphoria, as well as our moments of deepest despair. There seems to exist a trend of bringing all our states of mind back to one pair of concepts: like or dislike; positive or negative. Revealing ourselves has steadily become the norm. The viewer gets the chance to see Ritterbex in her own film, carrying out a bizarre combination of beauty and hysteria on the one side, and abjection and shamelessness on the other side. Ritterbex is intrigued by the similarity between contemporary exhibitionism and the artist’s practice.
In her paintings, core-elements are formed by the aesthetic and visual qualities of the rituals; ethics and aesthetics are everything but strictly intertwined, we could state. However, Ritterbex does not aim at making so-called ‘happy art’; do not be fooled by the semi-naive, almost excessively aesthetic first-look-appearance of her work. This standoffish, slightly chaotic outlook is misleading, for there is always a more profound tale that is being told through the deeper layers of her paint.
The traditional rituals, depicted in these recent works, are designated by contemporary titles such as Bitches get nasty on the hookah. In the artworks of Ritterbex, associations are never strictly framed; breaking loose from established patterns of observation by precisely capturing our hysteric, culturally determined perception of reality is what is being manifested in these works.
Tanja Ritterbex lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Institutes of education in which she is being involved include Academie Beeldende Kunst (Maastricht), Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and De Ateliers (Amsterdam). Recently, her work has been shown at Ornis A. Gallery (solo exhibition, 2015/2016), Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam (2015/2016), Showroom Mama, Rotterdam (2015), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2015, 2013), W139, Amsterdam (2014) and CFA-Berlin (2014).