Ölgötzen – Project Description

In German the composite word ‘Ölgötze’ (‘Öl’: oil; ‘Götze’: idol) can mean either “a painting of an idol anointed in oil or painted in oil paints” or “an individual that merely stands there and stares instead of taking action”.

This work is situated in a middle ground between painting and sculpture. It developed as a byproduct of the painting work. Dried paint remains from the palette were layered or painted onto discarded items (smocks etc.) either collected or found lying around – a kind of ‘recycling painting’. Due to the contracting and warping of the colours, many of the faces only acquire their ultimate or even apparently ultimate appearance over the course of the drying process.
These are not portraits but faces that gradually materialise out of the forms of the material.
This process is reminiscent of African fetishes, which are consistently doused with grease and oil.