Untitled #51, 2006
Oil-based paint, acrylic, priming, plastic coating, fibreboard
50 x 50 cm
Photo: Gerhard Sauer
Somehow Joachim Grommek’s picture seems rather familiar. Bright strips of adhesive tape in varying widths, mostly applied horizontally to a pale brown piece of particle board. At the top pale shades, followed by blue and green, and with shades of brown and black emerging to the front. What is foreground and what is background? Is this a non-objective composition of sticky strips of tape, or is it perhaps an abstract landscape after all? Perhaps Joachim Grommek has taken a work from the history of art as the model for his “Untitled #51”, just as he does in other pieces in which he refers back to Andy Warhol or Blinky Palermo. Or does it simply seem so familiar because Grommek appears to be working with materials that we all know from the DIY shop: chipboard and sticky tape? Because art is greeting us from the everyday world?
All totally wrong. Nothing in Joachim Grommek’s art is what at first sight it seems to be. What appear to be strips of tape are in fact carefully applied coats of paint, and even the chipboard background has been painted on. The confusion is complete when one realizes that artificial chipboard has been applied to a real piece of chipboard, which was first grounded however with white paint.
Do you now notice what is happening to your perceptual faculties? You will now put the text aside and take another, closer look at the picture, and suddenly a mystifying sticky tape composition is a fascinating illusionist artwork. And with that the artist has achieved his aim: “I take things that people do not notice, and make them noticeable….” Joachim Grommek is an illusionist, a wistful forger of reality, as he himself says: “All art is simultaneously forgery. Its faked emotions and faked objects consist of yearnings. It wants to be like real life, but it never can be. … I want to completely change reality in my paintings, make it the most beautiful thing of all, just as I wish it to be.” In other words: nothing in this picture is familiar, it is all illusion, beautiful illusion. Art, pure and simple.
1957 born in Wolfsburg
Lives and works in Berlin