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Kanjo Takè, SignetKanjo Také

Kanjo Také

Born in Berlin in 1953
Studied painting at Escuela des Bellas Artes in Granada
Studied visual communication and photography at Universität der Künste in Berlin
Lives and works in Düsseldorf.

After working as a highly successful international photo designer for many years, Také decided in 2003 to be an artist – and nothing but an artist. Since then, he has created an exceedingly rich oeuvre on the basis of digital camera and video technology. With the aid of computerized brush and pencil, he generates exciting and for the most part painterly worlds of images. The documentary photo material is drawn into a current of moving structures, multilayered transparencies and colored glazes.

Také often finds his motifs on journeys, but also in and around his home city of Düsseldorf. His camera captures images of the metropolis’s construction sites, excavations for underground train tunnels, puddles, ship traffic, parades along the Rhine, polo players, urban still-lifes and tire tracks in the snow. Digital montage on his computer screen transforms these images into stormy catastrophes, cosmic celestial lanes or earthly hunts (of saddlery) and similarly spacious, gleaming, composed events. All details come from close-ups, but the pictures breathe surroundings, expanse and dynamism.

This is also true of the sophisticated “EiColor” (2008) series and the still-unfinished magnum opus “Nowhere” (2008 ff.), which presently consists of more than 20 photo sequences formed from panel paintings, each of which measures ten meters by one meter. Each sequence introduces a theme and fuses the precise richness of life with the penetrating freedom of abstraction to create diverse visions of the world. The reference work is Hokusai’s famous series of woodcuts “Thirty-Six Views of Fujiyama.” In Také’s unfinished series too, this holy mountain will surmount the scene 36 times as a guarantor of eternity in the flowing world.

The German-Japanese artist is currently also working on two comprehensive contributions to the biannual projection exhibition “lichtsicht,” which is quickly gaining momentum in Bad Rothenfelde. The most recent piece in this pair will hang on the 400-meter-long by 12-meter-tall wall of the graduation works and will comprise a series about the financial crisis: from printing presses uninhibitedly creating mountains of banknotes to the destruction of money as a high-risk game of jackstraws. The motifs are provided by the banknotes themselves: copperplate etchings of portrait heads from Washington to Gandhi, silhouettes of cityscapes, mountain ranges, flying falcons and stamping rhinoceros herds, along with devastating fires and the battle with instable chopsticks. A digital collage that exaggerates near and far into new standards and new dimensions!

Cologne, July 2013 / Manfred Schneckenburger