Emil Herker (Austria)
THE POWER OF OBJECTS – new edition Mar 2006


We do not perceive the objects as they are in reality, but in the way as we want to see them. That means, in the way the media present them to us. We only recognize things/objects/news which are shown by the media, everything else does not exist for us.

This is the reason why I paint so that I can show the other side of the coin. In fact, in my paintings I do not reproduce the visible, but show the visible. The objects I paint are close to still life, that means items of daily consumption in their daily use.

The glasses, the cutlery and foodstuff leftovers are interrupted in their daily movements,
indeed they are stopped. In our world, which is based on consumption, the bought object is not the object of desire. In fact, the act of purchasing gives us the kick. And this kick often ends already after the cash register and we fall into another depression and we lose the interest in the just acquired item. Because at the next corner another advertisement hits our nerve system. Another product is shouting for our attention and is awakening our lust.

I paint the objects when they are used, when they are consumed. That is maybe the reason why my paintings are on the one hand so irritating and on the other hand so fascinating, because those objects look differently in a high gloss magazine or on TV as they do during use respectively consumption.

I paint the reality, the real life. This is different from the make belief world as shown in the media. The reality is not beautiful, or is it ?

I show day to day situations and daily used products which surround us year in year out.

I play with those objects with colors and title. By finding a title for a painting which has no obvious relationship to the painted objects I try to tell a story. The shown objects become symbols of our throwaway society and should act as a comment to our consumer behavior. The finished painting (although painted in photo-realistic style) has nothing in common with its actual reference samples. This is different from the photo-realistic painters of the sixties.

I do not paint a photographed glass, but I paint a glass, which looks like it is photographed !!! I show all those objects without palliation and I am looking for the anti-
idealistic possibilities in painting.

At the same time I try to find out, if it is possible to show simple things and situations (which are far away from the ideal of the mass media) and to upgrade them in my paintings, so that at least, they can survive in future at least in my paintings. Simple situations are transformed into symbols of alienation. In our fast paced time I capture the moment just like a video-still.

The title of my paintings are mostly not related to the painted objects. Most of the time the viewer is directed to a totally different story. The real objects from the everyday life in connection with the title become a fiction. I consider my paintings as video-stills of these stories. The still sequence is the same for every viewer, but the story is different for everyone of them.

As real as my paintings seem to be , the photo-realistic reproduction should at the same time include the interpretation and evaluation of the shown objects.

I am aiming for a deeper resemblance which is more real than the reality !

Emil Herker
1966 born in Aigen/Ennstal, Austria
1987 – 89 studies architecture in Graz/Austria
since 1990 – independent artist
1993 works a few months in Dubai
1998 art award at art-happening, Baernbach/Austria
1999 studies in New York
1999 Manhattan Arts International Showcase award, New York
2000 art award Stainach/Austria
Rosi Mild art award 2000, Graz/Austria
Winner at the finals at the 2000 Art Competition, Cincinnati, USA

Works and lives in Graz / Austria

Several exhibitions in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, USA,
Japan e.g.

2006 State-Of-The Arts Gallery and Lee Gardens / Hong Kong
2005 “Hells Kitchen”, Galerie Wolfgang Exner, Vienna/Austria
2005 Art Fair Cologne 2005, Galerie Verbrueggen/Germany
(shooting star !!)

2004 “reality check”, Art House, Bruck/Mur/Austria
2003 “hells kitchen”, castle Retzhof, Leibnitz / Austria
2002 Welde Art Award, castle Schwetzingen, Germany
2001 Biennale Villa de Cerveira, Portugal

The Austrian painter Emil Herker paints the REALITY, he paints the LIFE. Far away from any artifical reality created by the media. He plays around with daily objects which surround our day to day life. He plays with colors and also with funny titles. He creates title for his paintings which detach the subjects of his paintings from his daily existence. He is a story teller. His paintings are fascinating symbols of our throw-away society and comment on our consumer behaviour.

Emil Herker does not reproduce the visible, he shows the visible !