Showing Images From Ether
Solo Show of Paintings/Sculptures, May-June, 2007
Billy Shire Gallery, Culver City, CA
In the middle of 2006 Tim Biskup took a dramatic stylistic detour. Long known for a cheery graphic style that was dubbed “Baroque Modernism” by LA design dealer Sam Kaufman, Biskup presented a collection of paintings entitled “Vapor” that could not have been any less cheery. The show, at Berlin’s Galarie Engler, Consisted of fifteen dark, brooding pieces, unadorned by frames. The subjects ranged from weeping girls who floated in front of hellish red backdrops to axe wielding monsters chanting the phrase, “Something Is Wrong”. Indeed!
Where did this new found doom emerge from? “Part of it was the state of my personal life. Things seemed to be falling apart and I was terrified,” says Biskup. “I was a little shocked, frankly, when I painted the first few, but they looked how I was feeling.” The artist recounted a dream where his daughter was attacked by dragons. “I was in Barcelona at the time and just became totally freaked out. I was sure she was in some sort of danger. Everything turned out to be okay, but the feeling that something was wrong took hold. The ‘Vapor’ show was really about that feeling. It was about giving in to fear and seeing what it looked like.”
The show was widely hailed as a leap forward for the artist and the original paintings were quickly snapped-up by collectors. The demand was so intense, in fact, that two of the pieces were stolen off the gallery walls in broad daylight. the paintings have not been recovered since and there are no leads as to their location.
For the artist’s upcoming solo exhibition, his first in the Los Angeles area since his sold out “The Push Over” in 2005, he hopes to ratchet up the intensity even further. The installation will feature a massive fiberglass and steel sculpture as it’s central figure as well as several large scale paintings, bronze and vinyl figures and a series of new prints. There will also be a sound element to the show that Biskup claims may require earplugs!
Transition, transformation and the unknown are the main themes of this exhibition. The pain of loss in all of its forms relies on the involvement of those who live through it. If we are involved and connected to our pain we can experience it as an abstract and indefinable feeling. My goal has been to experience my own transition and transformation through periods of pain, depression, confusion and self-doubt. To stay involved and connected without judging or editing my output. The result is as abstract and indefinable as the feelings themselves. There is anger, bitterness, love and passion in this work, but most of all a profound sadness and longing. Recovery from loss is an ongoing process without guarantees or deadlines. Every step worth taking is a leap of faith.
- Tim Biskup, May 2007
Artist’s Statement (In Retrospect):
My only show this year was pretty much a continuation of “Vapor” It was called “Ether”. I felt like I was purging a few more of my inner demons with each painting and by the time the show opened I felt great. People kept asking me if I was okay and I kept telling them that I left everything on the wall. By far the darkest piece in the show was “Dominator”. Mark Ryden said it scared him. It was my first show in LA for a few years and I wanted to go really big with it. I called in a few favors and ended up with Vanity Fair and JJ Abrams hosting the opening.