Sam Hersbach, in his outlook and painting practice, is fascinated by the world that surrounds us, by its apparent trivialities and by correlations that at first glance do not appear to be connected. At the beginning of his process, there is often one thought which suddenly proliferates into a hundred. Sociological and technological developments, especially with underlying philosophical considerations, form the core of his work. Painting is a process that filters and develops thoughts further, sometimes bringing them to a conclusion and over the last two years, Hersbach has created a sheer number of paintings that reflect this process. Various series, different styles, abstractions, figurations, reality and fantasy: such is the scope of the artist’s oeuvre that only a selection can be exhibited at a time. In this way, very different narratives can be constructed, and varying styles can be highlighted. In his drone paintings, unmanned airborne vehicles take on a threatening position as both a technological innovation and as the controlling authority of the present day, developing from a toy to an aggressive, independent, sexless being. His mountain pictures, on the other hand, are almost romantic, telling of a young Dutchman’s longing to see high mountains. Hersbach himself, as a painter, is always at odds with painting and the myth that surrounds it. We find this struggle and its processing in his paintings that oscillate between the micro and the macro. Sometimes his canvases are multi-layered, colourful and complex in their narrative, with an all-encompassing ambition that we recognise from great historical paintings. In other, smaller-scale works, he does exactly the opposite, zooming in on details that somehow have managed to isolate themselves and take centre stage.
Text by : Fabian Schöneich
Proofreader: Faysal Mroueh