Walking in the High Grass: Tom Solty

18 August - 3 September 2022 Berlin

Fleeting glimpses from a moving car, from the hatch of an airplane on the eye presented landscape, fleeting moments of an apparent idyll, a feeling of happiness captured with a cell phone camera. But this apparent idyll lying in front of the window stands in stark contrast to the immediate surroundings of the viewer, who appears to be locked up in a car or an airplane. A beautiful metaphor for the brokenness of mankind between nature outside the door, which is idealized, as in the Romantic period, and the reality of the person who only rushes past it quickly, without really perceiving it.

Art history teaches us that the view out of the window has always been used as a means of representation of the separation between an inside and an outside, between reality and illusion or between the real and virtual world. So also here.

Tom Solty's photorealistic paintings bear witness to the current reality of life: being on the road, only experiencing the world superficially and from a distance, but still being part of it.

These images are paired with the dystopian still lifes of objects of all kinds, whereupon wildly fluttering insects are struggling to survive up until their very dissolution. The flapping and buzzing of insects that occur larger than in real life are populating the canvas with a great fidelity to detail - it seems almost palpable and destroys the supposed calm and order of a carefully arranged interior.

Then silence. The boots and the grass...

Walking in the High Grass describes a current state of mind, trying to capture what is happening around us and at the same time critically questioning it: The challenge here is to find a balance between a certain double standard and a clear stance. Fears and Doubts about mankind and how to deal with each other were not caused by war, illnesses or interventions in nature, but through the abundance of information, impressions and opinions that trigger a state of distress.

Walking in the High Grass thus functions as a personal retreat. An utopia that suggests liveliness.

Walking in the High Grass describes a certain powerlessness. Parallels to romanticism abound on. Goethe's Faust as an inquiring, at the same time doubting, sometimes hesitant character, whom - like the painter himself – questions what holds the world together at its core.

Marie-Thérèse Huppertz