Wolfe von Lenkiewicz (British, b. 1966)
Wolfe von Lenkiewicz’s chief artistic concern is the appropriation of language and mythology. He boldly experiments with hybrid visual combinations that straddle the murky borders of the shocking and offensive. His art historical intervention demonstrates our own complacency of art towards famous images, namely those highly learnt visual compositions of art history. Our knowledge of them has become so much second nature that we take them for granted. It is not until they are disturbed that we realise how much confidence we place in them.
The history of art can be understood as the compromising of changes from one mode of visual representation to another. The difference is the highly contemporary and extreme nature of von Lenkiewicz’s subject matter. September 11th 2001 becomes a stage for giant butterflies, Damien Hirst’s spot paintings merge with the designs of William Morris, and Adam and Eve are expelled from a field of oil derricks. The works demonstrate that no image is sacred and thus the artist is free to disseminate subject matter as they see fit. What is important is distinguishing when such combinations “work”. Lenkiewicz has been described as an unbound geneticist-turned-artist, a contemporary iconoclast; allusions he no doubt relishes.