ALESSANDRO BOSTELMANN
A POST-FACTUAL GROUP EXHIBITION  

May 15, 2020 - June 15, 2021

»The first composition for this group of works was my head in the style of Botero. My preoccupation with the post-truth age, with deception and falsification, fake news, and the self-created Bostelmann myth, seemed to be suddenly condensed in this picture. I had always felt a compulsion to work with post-factual. In 2016, I filmed an Arte documentary about myself and my works, and a few months later created an object in the style of Yves Klein, dated it 1960 and dedicated it to myself. I found playing with the intellectual property of others extremely satisfying. […] The appropriation of other people’s styles with such decisiveness definitely has something mind-blowing for a painter.« (Alessandro Bostelmann, 2021)

 

»Fake it till you make it« – the battle cry of the proclaimed »post-factual age«, whose quality as a guiding principle can be currently very clearly observed in social media – takes a significant turn in the first solo exhibition of the painter and conceptual artist Alessandro Bostelmann (*1992). Seven portraits of Bostelmann »from the hands of some high-profile representatives of contemporary art« are presented under the title A Post-Truth Group Exhibition. Louise Bonnet, Fernando Botero, Glenn Brown, André Butzer, George Condo, Nicole Eisenman and Kehinde Wiley – these have all seemingly contributed a portrait of the artist in their characteristic styles and their typical formal languages.

 

But it is all fake. This solo exhibition, presented as a group exhibition, is a Bostelmann wunderkammer of half-truths, a complete post-factual work of art that, to »the uninitiated or unaware«, may appear intuitively as truth within the capsule of the gallery rooms – similar to the diverse filter bubbles in the Internet that »keep the post-truth age alive in their essence.« It is a parody of the »thirst for fame« of young artists, a satirically distorted elevation and the consistent continuation of the game Bostelmann plays with the self-created myth of the artist in which he orchestrates his alter ego as an eccentric genius and celebrated artist. At the same time, his series is a homage to painting, which is supposedly dead, and its diverse means of expression.

 

In his exhibition, Bostelmann very decisively picks up on the perceived truths, half-truths and alternative facts, in short: the post-factual, as the result of a creative act or creative thinking and action. He places the allure and esthetic quality of the post-factual in the foreground, in his eyes visualized by a strongly ambivalent, surreal aura with the appeal of the grotesque and Dadaistic. When the exhibition is viewed more closely, the initial hubris, from which the post-factual may be nurtured, gives way to the exposure of one’s own inadequacy and ridiculousness – »an oscillation between megalomania and self-derision.«