Hans Peter Feldmann would not describe himself as an artist. He is a compulsive collector and appropriator of found images and everyday ephemera.
His works have an aesthetic and conceptual simplicity. An interest in the formal language of typology is played out in pictorial assemblages of the overlooked and mundane; strawberries, shoes, seated women in paintings, lips, romantic seascapes, kitsch floral photography. His witty play with the traditional aesthetic sees collections of classical paintings of nudes and portraits daubed with black crosses, red noses and cross-eyes.
Feldmann intentionally bypasses the rules of the art market and its high culture by making unsigned, undated works and limitless editions. Similarly, he doesn’t give titles to any of his works or exhibitions, thereby allowing the works to speak for themselves. In doing so he resists commodification and commercialization– making it purely about the value of the art itself. He is a democratic believer that art cannot be owned and what we project onto a work is what lasts.
After winning the Guggenheim’s 2010 Hugo Boss Prize, Hans-Peter Feldmann famously cashed his $100,000 check and pinned it in dollar bills to the museum’s walls, raising questions about the value of art. By assembling images and objects in unlikely or un-noteworthy combinations, Feldmann reveals their embedded emotional associations.
He is known for his examinations of seriality in daily life, as in his 1973 work All the clothes of a woman (photographs of every item in a woman’s wardrobe) or 2005’s One Pound Strawberries (each fruit that constitutes a pound).
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