I Can’t Stop

by D. Dominick Lombardi

Bodo Korsig’s work is both funny and serious. He plays with the subconscious, the familiar, the mundane, and the miniscule. He gets you though, hitting you head on with the periphery, turning things around, stretching, reorienting.

His art can be painting, print, or sculpture. Everything is hung on the walls, some coming out a bit from the wall, such as his painted aluminum works. Even the paintings, despite their diminutive sizes, are made on very thick stretchers so they jut out into the space. This is important because these works, in order to get into your head, need to follow you a bit. In one instance, the gallery light that illuminates the piece “Erase Your Past” is placed at art height level. So, even though the work is extended from the wall slightly, the angle of the lighting reduces the shadows to a subtle, almost imperceptible detail. A clever idea since the work, which looks something like a series of interconnected irregular ovals, comes out looking like a shimmering puddle.

Korsig uses words to his advantage as well. And he has the luxury of looking at English as a second language (the artist resides in Germany), so he can play more easily with familiar phrases. Like adding the word “in” to “Life Begins in Every Second” and to “Life Stops in Every Second. This extra word gives us pause, and makes us look and look again wondering what is wrong.

The phrase “I Can't Stop,” which is also the exhibition’s title, appears three times in one powerful triptych (detail shown above). Here are one-eyed, two-legged sperms on the left panel, a cluster of synapses in the central panel, and a creepy crawly thing on the right panel, all in silhouette, and matched up with the three primary colors: blue, yellow, and red. Hints and suggestions that Korsig is dealing with primal emotions are very apparent here, while the desire to have and to take, and the failure of many to learn from mistakes and misjudgments, are the concerns.

And there are quicker, quirkier reads to his art, such as the Jean Arp-ish, worm-like forms of “Metamorphoses,” which is quite animated but odd. And “Hidden Mind” consists of a positive/negative puzzle, a tri-pointed mass, and another cluster of double-tailed sperms. Again, Korsig plays with the familiar to get our attention, while he zings us with questions and analysis.

Through May 9
 Tenri Cultural Institute of New York
43A West 13th Street
NY, NY