Behind plexiglas painting (acrylics) hand painted frame
19.7 x 15.8 in
Paul Waak’s colorful figurative works explore the curious nature of human behavior and contrast the joyful with the somber.
Influenced by the unforced gestures of folk art and art brut, as well as works by artists drawn from the youth subcultures of the 1990s and post-Internet art, Waak finds intuitive metaphors for existential truths. His work deals with themes such as interpersonal relationships and the increasing digitalization of life, violence and innocence, beauty and crime, work and leisure. Thus, his works provide a personally colored, skeptical view of a post-digital cultural imagination and act as a showcase on the objects, gestures, longings and fears of our time.
The starting point of the artist’s works are pencil drawings that he makes almost daily. Over the years, a systematically ordered archive has been created in this way, comprising thousands of sheets, which Waak draws on to constantly develop his formal language. Always on the lookout for a new kind of visual expression, Waak uses image processing programs to distort his scanned drawings and give them a digital look. In a next step, he often resorts to classic analog techniques such as reverse painting on glass or painting on canvas, using a wide range of intensely luminous acrylic paints and varnishes as well as oil paints.
Born 1984 in Dresden, Paul Waak lives and works in Berlin and studied visual communication with a focus on illustration at Universität der Künste in Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts) and painting at Hunter College in New York City. His latest exhibitions took place in Weserhalle Berlin; Affenfaustgallery, Hamburg; ungefähr5 Cologne; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; Good Mother Gallery, Oakland, California; and Yui Gallery, New York. In addition to his drawings, paintings and sculptures, Waak designs applicable objects, clothes, books, posters and record covers.