The Jon Pylypchuk assembles a wide cosmos of bizarre creatures in drawings, assemblages and sculptures, which have developed into populations spread over space over the last years. Animalistic mix-creatures – half human, half beast – are pasted together and collaged of wooden and tissue leftovers, particles of hair, clusters of fur and frazzles of paper. They act in surreal and, at the same time, frightening naturalistic scenarios which are sketched smoothly and situated in painted landscapes or voluminous installations.
Cats and elephants snort cocaine at the beach. Dog-like quadrupeds play golf, fight in a boxing ring or expose themselves with dropped down pants. A tousled figure with a proboscis (a war veteran?) lets a book and his legs droop in a worn-out armchair (“I miss you danger, and all it’s elements”, 2006). Mutilated creatures (soldiers?) roam through a shanty town cobbled together from wood (“Hopefully, I will live through this with a little bit of dignity”, 2006).
Everyday life, social interaction, loneliness and struggle. Pylypchuk’s world of figures is memorized longer than one would like. Above all, however, the text is the core of his works. The words on handwritten paper strips which the artist puts into the mouths of the protagonists are snappy, aggressive, merciless all the way to lustful. They transform from “worn out, beaten cuddly toys” (Gail Kirkpatrick) into philosophically profound advisers for our life: “just sit back and recount the violence of one year” – “you are mess and will continue to be so” – “this is the damage you have done trying to control yourself” – “you are not dying, you are stupid” – “that is a fake rain and you are a fake”.
Each painting is a staged scene of social encounter, grown-up humour and stage play at the same time. Consequentially therefore is Pylypchuk’s contribution to the interdisciplinary project “Von denen die überleben” (From those who survive) at the migros museum of contemporary art / playhouse Zurich 2008 where he cooperated with an authoress and a musician. In his artful sarcastic cuddle-freak-show Pylypchuk revets the universal topics of life over and over again into mundane vestures. His protagonists lament about digestions trouble, senescence and weight reduction on a stage of sex, violence, war, social injustice and child abuse.
Due to Pylypchuk’s increasing degree of popularity there are art theoretical comparisons to representatives of “grunge aesthetics” (Ana Finel Honigman) like Mike Kelly or Paul MC Carthy all the way to artists of outsider art (Jean Dubuffet). One agrees on attributes like “trashy”, “cute”, “gross”, “obscene” until finally reaching “dead serious” (Gail Kirkpatrick) – and about Pylypchuk’s deep black humour that makes us both laugh and cry. Even more to the point than Jim Hensons Muppets is the comparison with Peter Jackson’s satire of society “Meet the feebles”. They settle their account – as Pylypchuk – more grossly and radically with the structure of our society made up of sex, drugs and industries.
Jon Pylypchuk is anything but unknown to the international art scene. Since his last solo show at Sies + Höke in 2007 his “Creature creations” have been raging through selected galleries world-wide and found their place in considerable collections. Last the exhibition in the Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössischer Kunst Muenster 02/2009 dedicated its first institutionally solo exhibition to Jon Pylypchuk. On 11th September 2009 the Blaffer Gallery at the art museum of the University of Houston opens a solo show. On this occasion a comprehensive catalogue in cooperation with the AZKM Muenster will be released.
Sies + Höke presents new works by Jon Pylypchuk: drawings, sculptures, bronze and two videos.