STEPHAN JUNG. God in Game. 25.02.2006 – 15.04.2006 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce its first one-man show by the Stuttgart born painter Stephan Jung (*1964), who lives and works in Berlin. Stephan Jung is represented in important collections such as that of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, and last fall he had a solo show titled „Host“ in the Galerie der Stadt Backnang. The pictorial universes invented by New Media have substantially widened our capacity for new esthetic experiences. In that new territory, the works of Stephan Jung move in and out of abstraction and realism, as mediators „between the Here of true reality and the Beyond of computerbased reality“ (Claudia Seidel).

In the large format painting „God in Game“—the central work of the Galerie Reinhard Hauff show—
Jung tackles the fixation of an avatar (his alter ego) in the medium of painting. Avatar means a kind of virtual stand-in for a person in cyberspace, an artificial look-alike of a member or a player in chat forumʻs or computergames. The concept of avatar derives from „avatara“ which in Indian religion means the descent or incarnation of a God on earth. It is in this virtual world of cybergames and equipped with all the functions needed to empower him to succeed in a fantasy adventure that „God in Game“ in the silvery, shimmering animation of the artist enters into the realms of our world. But in a (painted) image of something real, what is really real? A picture of a pipe is not a pipe but a picture. Despite its mask-like intransigence it is clearly the facial features of the artist you see in the avatarʻs face, projected so closely onto the black background that it almost fills up the entrie 6 x 3 meter surface.

In the metalically cool topographie of the face you discover the distorted reflections of the artist
s Berlin apartment. Various red and yellow colour reflections can, however, only with difficulty be attributed to any concrete object. Breaking with the traditionally vertical format of a classical portrait, the artist chooses a horizontal format for this selfportrait, which makes for an additional notion of distance between the picture and the observer. Jung demonstrates once more that precisely the classical medium of painting—thanks to its inherent possibility to create illusion—is exceptionally suited for adapting to the never ending challenges of playing with different and multiple levels of reality.