A trace of irony and the barely hidden pleasure is a playful blend in the multi-disciplinary work of Sebastian Neeb. He plays with the sublime nature of art and approaches it – verbally and figuratively – looking behind the gestures and slogans. Neeb’s tragicomedy figures and scenes create a distance which either make the trivial visible or demolish the abysses.
In recent years, Sebastian Neeb has created a complex artistic cosmos. Painting, photography, objects, installations and sculptures all complement each other through thematic complexes. The craftsmanship techniques are mastered at the same time and the handling of different materials are combined to form coherent installations.
Neeb designs trophies for nonsense performances, balances paintings on sideboards, invents paper noses for portraits that are painted in an old-fashioned way – like the old masters and allows ceramic creatures to demand the attention of the beholder. He proclaims that his works are in the form of proverbs – the »wooden wurst« a comprehensive contemporary allegory of The Golden Calf.
The »New Leader« character head placed on a pedestal, does not present power. They are disfigured physiognomies, witty and grotesquely deformed substances of faces that remark on the sight of power.
With the series of trophy-sculptures (with Neeb’s typical titles such as "Trophy for finding the jar of wisdom, drained to the dregs and stuck to a piece of wood"), he unmasks the competition hype culture as an unreflective folklore. Finally, in »Donkey Lessons«, the slogans of power politics and easy-going entertainment are no longer distinguished and the viewer of the artwork is now the addressee of the retort messages. The works push Neeb’s ironically formulated doubts: the splendor radiates a solemn grandeur and hides its auditorium, almost fading out what can be seen behind the glory. His objects both work for and against each other: blindness and recognition, he is never engaged in a thematic manner but a disillusioned one – a clever and entertaining style.
Sebastian Neeb’s work is a comprehensive commentary in a distantly thought-out present. His gaze permeates the accustomed rituals and transforms the astonishment into his art. He does not work with the reserved mirror image of the subject; instead, Neeb works with the imitation of practiced perception patterns and calculated reactions. Here art presents the confrontation of the beholder with an object.