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Spermaportraits – Martin von Ostrowski

19. December 2008 – 16. March 2009

The artist Martin von Ostrowski argues in his work since the eighties over and over again with the subject of gay sexuality. The portraits painted with sperm of men show a series of very own Charakteristik. On the deep black undercoated canvases the silhouettes painted with sperm of the shown mysteriously contrast with the subsoil. In the contour is preserved the Charakteristik of the personality like with a scissors cut very expressive, is shown, however, just at the same time also the genetic material of the shown. The complexity of a human genome is not tangible to the viewer with the naked eye. We cannot perceive the milliard-fold amino acids which store the genetic information in a Spermatozoe with our visual sense. The sperm is to be perceived in dry form merely as a whitish, clear film on black subsoil.

Already in 1988 used Ostrowski sperm as painting means. Within a series of the oil pictures which ejaculations show the artist also wanted to include sperm as a material. He masturbated on grey undercoated canvases, so that the sperm stand out as hose spots on the subsoil. In the course of meanwhile twenty years changed colour at first whitish in spots looking yellowish today. For the artist it was then important to oppose another view the psychoanalytic interpretation of art as a sublimation: Art as means of the increase of own vitality and energy. For Ostrowski the beginning of Freud was only from the centuries long to understand overpowering Jewish-Christian tradition, to put under taboo sexuality and to equate in the Christian sense with sin. However, art also owns a strong identity donating ones, an effect confirming the sexuality and can exercise huge sexually positively stimulating charms on the senses.

Since 2003 the artist with sperm paints portraits in Silhouettenform, first from himself, then also from friends. Only the production of the painting material is connected with desire, because for a portrait the artist needs the sperm of from about 30 to 50 ejaculations according to size of the canvas. The collecting of the material occurs for long periods and assumes the will of the portrayed to argue with his sexuality. With use of a condom with the sexual act the material can be easily rescued, and be preserved by immediate freezing for the later times.

The portraits on black subsoil own an almost mystic radiation, because the whitish or slightly yellowish film works like the representation of an aura of a person. The complexity not to be perceived by the human eye of the genome provides itself in the kontemplativen effect of the sperm surfaces which stand out according to incidence of light as a brightly shining film or as a transparent shine on the matt subsoil.

More than 30 portraits Ostrowski could create since 2003. If one calculates for every portrait about 40 ejaculations have been processed with it more than 1000 orgasms and can be also perceived in the exhibition. For the artist each of these portraits is a big challenge, because with thawing of so big sperm amounts a special aspect comes to light. About the sence of smell the thawed painting material works like an archaic Auslösemechanismus for an immediate sexual activity. The biggest control is necessary not to give way, but to paint a portrait. The artist found out here that producing these sperm pictures required a high sublimation strength. Also for the viewer this Faszinosum is understandable. Here on the one hand he meets accumulated orgasms, on the other hand it is brought to accumulated desire, in a strict form and looks in her artistic version meditative.

Curator: Martin von Ostrowski