Johnen + Schöttle

Florian Süßmayr

08 Jun - 08 Jul 2006


In occasion of his exhibition at Johnen + Schöttle Florian Süßmayr will be showing portraits and scenes from rock concerts or soccer games, from the world of punk or from the alternative scene.
The artist hinmself belongs to this scene and is giving a very specific and personal view on it. It is a scene of rock and punk music, of drugs and drinks, ecstasy and excess. It thus rebels fundamentally against the traditional values and moral ideas of bourgeois society and it very consciously intends to differ from this society by signs, ist outfits and its behaviour.
The male portraits are portraits of friends and musicians who partly are admired as idols of this music scene and also Florian Süßmayr accepts and confirms their status. Most of the women’s portraits however are inspired by advertisments for hairstylists. The orientation of machism of this scene which is dominating also the distinction of male and female as well as reflecting the typical roles of the group members and their behaviour among each other is transferred to the works of Florian Süßmayr. It ist he belonging to a specifically defined group of people who tend to be outsiders in contrast to the Western mainstream society.
The male view on the subject becomes characteristic also for the formal aspects of the works which are constituted by strong contrasts and a reduced tonality. And also the attitude that is articulated towards the viewer is that of a sceptical, doubtful approach, but also of provocation which might be for self-assertion as well as for self-defense.
There furthermore are large-scale paintings which show a selective view on a mass scenery or the monumental view on naked male bodies. Most of them are have tattoos, some of them even of such a scale that the image overwhelms its support, the human body. These tattoo paintings co-relate to large-scale paintings of camouflage t-shirts or a canvas that is structured by the technique of frottage.
The monumental vision of a tattooed male chest and the intimacy of an individual portrait which except of the portrayed person does not show anything else, do form the two conceptual poles of the exhibition. They refer to the ambiguity between dominance and subjection, aggression and vulnerability which drives the behaviour and relations within the described scene as well as it directs the excessive emotionality according to canonised codes. And it is also that the works of Florian Süßmayr make becoming clear that in the claim of power there is contained not only the possibility but even the necessity of openess, that stressing emotionality, radicality and excess means becoming vulnerable, too.

© Florian Süßmayr
Dee Dee Ramone
190 x 340 cm
oil on canvas

Tags: Florian Süßmayr