The white rabbit is no longer needed today.
Carroll’s children’s book “Alice’s adventures in wonderland”, from the 19th century, to which the exhibition title refers, is full of anthropomorphic characters, a collection of creatures not only popular with children. Carroll’s underground imaginatively enlivened what from today’s perspective is a rather drab British kingdom.
Paris Giachoustis, (b.1990), creates his own wonderland, not by enlarging and diminishing or by “literary nonsense”. His wonderland is today’s Berlin, where the painter has lived and worked since 2015. He doesn’t have to invent anything here, but only describe and recontextualise, so wonderful is the present in his eyes. Dream and reality merge in his worlds; it is up to each visitor to discover the real or the surreal, the everyday or the exotic in different skin colours, same-sex or opposite-sex eroticism, dream and landscape scenes. He often uses the term “new romanticism” for this, combined with a transfiguration of the spontaneity of the subject. His wonderland is by no means a paradise – we definitely find critical tones here, be it narcissism in society, the loneliness of the digital worlds or the way we treat each other, all wrapped up in his strong, colourful, characteristic aesthetic.
To describe this wonderland, the artist uses canvas, paper, acrylic, water and oil paint in his first solo exhibition in the main rooms of the Kornfeld Gallery. Who needs a white rabbit to lead you underground? Our time is full of wonders, you just have to dream and look closely.
Text by: Peter Ungeheuer, May 2023