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Plastasia: “The physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance these systems.”

There is something peaceful and daydreamy, yet anxious and uncanny about the desolate tableaus in Luca Bjørnstens newest body of work.

The paintings consist of large solid-colored surfaces and blobs. In a way, they keep the sensation of being sticky paint, as they form motives, sliding in and out between being abstract and figurative.

It is not difficult to see what is depicted: A Shell gas station, a supermarket shelf with detergent powder, a row of FedEx aircrafts at an Airport. However, the motives seem to be unstable, as if made from grout or chewing gum, about to topple or melt. Something is amusing and absurd about the paintings’ doomed gooiness and clumsy shapes, but slowly you get a creeping sense that something is hiding under the surface, down there, in the plaster. Is this real life?

In Plastasia, the motives are characterised by mass production and consumerism. The paintings are sections of the reality we know, but Bjørnsten recreates it in a way where it becomes alien to us. As if seen by an extraterrestrial arriving at Earth, not understanding the conventions, rules, and context, essential for modern infrastructure to make sense.

As a viewer, you get the opposite experience of a déjà vu: The feeling of something familiar, becoming unfamiliar and strange. And this alienation allows us to dwell on the sculptural value of the motives, on the beauty of a border shop with duty-free M&M’s.

Luca Bjørnsten (1986, Copenhagen, Denmark) lives and works in copenhagen and holds a fine arts degree from Gerrit Rietveld Academie, The Netherlands. He had solo exhibitions at Galleri SØ (Copenhagen, 2018), Gallery Bredgade 56 (Copenhagen, 2017) and was included in group shows at Prince Gallery (duo show with Duarte Filipe, Copenhagen, 2015) and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen 2013)


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