Thomas Kast‘s paintings are dark parables, each picture an attempt to articulate the contemporary human condition through symbols and metaphors, allegorical scenarios that seek a truth, a key to unlock the mystery of our existence.
Drawing from the the Hermetic tradition – in which art was fused with ritual and magic and each symbol charged with an esoteric mysticism – Kast looks to create a picture that skews reality and in doing so opens our eyes to other ways of seeing, of understanding the world around us. His brushstrokes are hard and bold, almost a scribble, a fast dash as if eager to capture the juxtaposition of geometric forms, graphic typography and figures. The scenarios jarring, inside out, the colours deep and sensuous, electric and neon bright. There is a darkness within these pictures, as if the world he depicts is in perpetual twilight, the figures living on the edge of darkness, lost in the wilderness of urban despair.
Each of these paintings is bound by a cinematic aesthetic, while being rooted in a more ancient tradition, and this dichotomy leaves us with a potent cityscape that is both mysterious and enigmatic, disturbing and full of existential angst. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
A great admirer of German Expressionists, Pop Art and the old Dutch and Flemish masters, I prefer figurative painting as a creative medium, which I find more appealing and humane than non-pictorial creations — often dangerously impersonal and erratic. I’m of the opinion, the viewer coming to the gallery has no less expectation of a sanctity than coming to a place of cult. It is this very sensation I try to deliver — the pervading sense of enigma, the existence of an alternative continuance, out of reach and out of control.