Gerrit Handl Re-Draws Time

A series of hundreds of drawings covers the walls of the gallery. All of them show the same face. Seemingly. And indeed, if you look at one of the drawings and compare it to its neighbour, you will most probably not spot a difference. Nevertheless – if you compare the first of image of the series with the last, you will see that the man from the first has morphed into a woman. And you can’t say how exactly.

Handl’s portraits are not exactly what you would call beautiful. It is not his interest to draw beautiful people. Indeed, he abstains from drawing eyes in his portraits. This creates some sort of a dead appearance. The viewer is hence not drawn into the beauty of the drawings but into the accuracy and into the series as a whole. And a lot of viewers percieve Handl’s work as being frightening.

The repetition in his work, when drawing and when looking at it, is a central aspect of Handl’s work. It’s the same over and over again, yet it is not. And the repetition itself constitutes the change. It is time in its purest form which is illustrated in Handl’s work and it is connected with the space his series require to be presented.

The viewer of Handl’s piece is alone. Each spectator has his own way of looking at it, not only his own perception. Some walk by fast, some stand still and pick one single portrait to look at closely. And each one of them reacts different – some are frightened, some get angry and some are simply stunned and overwhelmed. But there is no one who leaves untouched.

>> See Gerrit Handl’s website here

>> see Gerrit Handl on MySpace

>> Read other art reviews by Michael Schär

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