press release

The colourful pictures of German artist Kati Barath (1966) can be described as imaginative, intuitive, naïve, pure and innocent. However, there is also a feeling of anxiety and sexual aggression under the surface. Her child-like figures stare out at the viewer with the straight-on intensity that made Playboy's boss Hugh Hefner so famous. But behind the aerial façade, there are gaping depths that leave no clue of a clear emotional path. Kati Barath's enormous portraits of bunny girls are saturated with colour. The thick and irregular outlines of the figures, which she achieves with silicon paint, contrast starkly with the otherwise smooth surface. This produces a dreamlike harmony but also distortion. Kati Barath creates paintings that are both unsettling and seductive. While the content of her work is provocative and disturbing, the formal qualities are enticing. She manipulates paint in a manner that synthesises abstraction as representation. One could say she works in a minefield of male sexual fantasies as seen from a girl’s perspective.


Heike Kati Barath and C.A. Wertheim: Eye-Toys