Julie Oppermann’s formally abstract paintings work on the level of visual illusions, but they transcend the boundaries of the Op Art genre. Unlike other Op-art artists who, through meticulous planning and execution avoid the unplanned and uncoordinated, Oppermann leaves room for chance and accident. Viewed up close, the artist’s handwriting becomes visible through dabs of color on the canvas. This element of spontaneous expression corrupts the illusory impressions that her compositions create when seen from a distance. In this way, her paintings become a powerful metaphor for the significance of ruptures and paradoxes in perception.
Joel Stevenett‘s Kottbusser Tor series likewise is an ongoing project, for which he returns to Berlin-Kreuzberg time and again to photograph people from all walks of life. His temporary photo studio at the affectionally named “Kotti”, a socially deprived area in the middle of Kreuzberg’s vibrant and ethnically diverse center, is set to remain in place for many years to come. The photographs of the artist offer a compelling portrayal of what it means to be human — a question as varied as the faces and stories of the people gazing toward us in the photographs.