sandro kopp

sandro kopp

    Who am I? What are we?
    Thoughts on the work of Sandro Kopp
    Sammlung Friedrichshof Stadtraum, Vienna
    3 June – 30 July 2021

    We live in a time dominated by science and technology. Man has robbed nature of its magic, and
    with his fantastic technologies runs the danger of destroying the world or his own kind. At the
    same time, technology affords us the chance to undo our capital mistakes and ensure the
    survival of our species for eternity by one day possibly opening up extra-terrestrial habitats to
    us. Because in about five to seven billion years our most important and sustainable source of
    energy – the Sun – will begin to transform and destroy our Earth. Our dearest star, which was
    dedicated to Helios, God of the Sun, and later Apollo, God of light, healing and the arts, is
    nothing other than a giant nuclear fusion reactor that is slowly but steadily consuming its
    resources. This thought may seem infinitely far away and therefore irrelevant, but in times of a
    pandemic, such apocalyptic ideas may move closer to our consciousness. Perhaps the “selfie
    culture” of our time is an expression of our collective unconscious fear of the end of the earth, as
    if we could actually immortalize ourselves and our loved ones with countless megapixel images
    in the cloud…
    Since photography was first invented in the 19th century, and all the more today that a
    smartphone can “shoot” perfect pictures or record almost cinematic videos, creating portraits or
    self-portraits with a brush and oil paint or the more modern felt tip pen almost appears to be an
    anachronism. But Sandro Kopp does just that, maybe even in defiance of our time, with a
    consistency and devotion that leaves a deep impression. As much as a talented, sensitive artist
    may work in a “classical” manner, he will not remain untouched by the zeitgeist. And indeed
    there is a contemporary spirit in Kopp’s works, particularly in the way he works, which becomes
    evident in his first Vienna solo exhibition.
    The artist, who was born in 1978 in Heidelberg (Germany), emigrated to New Zealand at the age
    of twenty-two and has lived in Scotland since 2006, shows three bodies of work in the Vienna
    branch of the Friedrichshof Collection, in the so-called STADTRAUM: “The New Me III” (2020), his
    Eye Portraits (from 2017) and his Lockdown Zoom Portraits (2020-21). I would like to point out
    Kopp’s concise “artist statement” about the current exhibition, which was published in the folder
    accompanying the exhibition, as well as a few interesting texts on the bodies of work just
    mentioned, available on his website1. I am therefore not presuming to think up or write

    1
    Regarding the self-portraits “The New Me” I would like to point out the text “Portraits for the artist” by Denis e Wendel-
    Poray written on the occasion of the exhibition “Take Time” in the Gallery Eric Dupont in Paris (2016), and regarding the Eye
    Portraits I will mention the text “The Faithful Interpreter – On the paintings of Sandro Kopp” by Jasper Sharp on the
    occasion of the exhibition “mEYEcelium” in the Palazzo Grimani Museum in Venice (2019). Sandro Kopp’s Skype Portraits,
    which he showed in particular in the exhibition “There You Are” at the Gallery Lehmann Maupin in New York (2012), were
    examined by Carolin Ackermann in the text “Sandro Kopp – ANALOGUE“ on the occasion of the exhibition “Analogue” in
    the Gallery Antoine Laurentin in Paris (2014).

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