Pictorial art had managed to get freed from photographic realism. In 1963 Gerhard Richter took the opposite direction by using as his models some poor and damaged photos that provide a bridge of a strong social significance between banality and art. After his self-portraits Stingel also retrieves the photographic banality but in a less impersonal sense.
He was born in Merano in the Tyrolean Alps on the Italian side and shares his life between this town and New York City. He can of course observe the panorama but his childhood impression has vanished. He re-interprets it by recovering old photographs which he enlarges excessively to reveal all the defects from origin and conservation. He then copies them on canvas by scrupulously respecting the stains, creases, scratches and loss of density.
With these banal photos whose original author cannot be known, Stingel reveals to the visitor a fake corner of his world, without character and without foreground, and which is not even directly related to his memory. In the following of his career he will further blur his relationship with the collective and the anonymous with his graffiti plates.
On March 7 in London, Sotheby's sells an oil on canvas painted in 2009 on the theme of the re-photographed Tyrolean mountains. With its 335 x 460 cm size this outdated view could be confronted with Andreas Gursky's hyper-sharp photographs. It is estimated £ 4M, lot 19.
Please watch the 'first look' video shared by Sotheby's.
SOLD for £ 4.7M including premium