Rainer Gross‘ ‘Contact Logo’ paintings are a collection of pictures that utilise corporate brands – which we as consumers in a capitalistic and globalized world immediately recognize even in their smallest fragments – as part of his ongoing series of contact paintings. The use of logos by painters is not new – since the 1940s corporate brands have played a large part in contemporary art – but what Gross does is new, his painting technique reduces a clean corporate identity to an image of decay, crumbling, peeling, weather worn, a criticism of capitalism and corporate identity.
His process of making these paintings is quite unique, and although it is a continuation of modern arts pre-occupation with branding and advertising, Gross manages to find a new way to represent what we see everyday. He begins by applying several layers of water based pure pigments to one canvas. A second canvas is then covered with oil paint and placed face to face on top of the first. The canvases are then pressed together and separated thus revealing the different broken up layers of pigment fused with the wetness of the oil paint. It is a carefully thought out mechanical process that creates an unpredictable outcome.
The images engaging us, the viewer on an immediate visceral, conceptual and emotional level. Painting is at the centre of his work, a new language for a new time.
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