Jonas Pihl - Multiverse

Jonas Pihl´s work revolves around certain paradoxical themes, such as: The Analogue and the digital, Nature and machine, Random and determinism, Chaos and cosmos and the point where the two collide and amalgamates into ”Chaosmos”. The paradox creates a tension between the two opposites, and paradoxically there is often a disturbing undertone in the otherwise lively imagery. The insecurity connected to the lack of spatial orientation in the paintings challenges the viewer’s perception.

The very way Jonas Pihl works with the materials and processes tells a part of the story in the content of the painting. The conceptual content lies in the formal surface.
The random aspect comes in when the paint as a material in itself works on the canvas in different techniques, like: Pouring, dripping, splashing and decalcomania. The random turbulence of the paint deals with chaos theory and the mysterious laws of nature where the structures of leafs, branches or blood vessels are mimicked in the paint. The ”go-with-the-flow” randomness often lays a foundation for the painting and forms a grid for the further process.

The deterministic aspect comes in when the turbulence of the paint is controlled or tightened up further in the proces. Some elements are erased, others enhanced, and when looking at the final result, it is hard to comprehend the chronology of the proces as background turns into foreground and vice versa. The splash jets of paint are often being mimicked and painted up meticulously which offers a meta layer and forms a paradox in the time aspect of the proces of painting. The trompe l´oeil splash is time consuming in the making opposed to the quick gesture of the splash of paint being thrown on a canvas. Immanent in that notion is the very essence of what a picture is: A snapshot of a single moment. A still image. A frozen explosion.

Jonas Pihl´s paintings paradoxically seem to transcend that stillness and move rhythmically in a circular groove like a moebius band or a Bach variation, infinitely modulating, rather than a composition with a beginning and an ending. Everything happens here and now in the painting in an entanglement of interconnected lines and tentacles fusing imagery in new irrational combinations, also talking about the structure of our modern communication and globalization. The challenge is the openness to let various different approaches to the world work together in a flat structure with no hierarchy, no absolutism, no one truth. Many different truths can coexist at the same time in Jonas Pihl´s paintings in a complex, rhizomatic structure. There is not one message, not one answer, but many questions and enigmas. Like in our world. Or worlds. Every idea is a world in itself in a philosophical sense. In a scientific sense these different universes are referred to as a multiverse. Our known Universe is only one among an infinite amount of other universes clinging to each other like soap bubbles in a bubble bath, or different spheres as Anton Sloterdijk describes what he calls ”Spherology”.

Jonas Pihl´s paintings are transgressing the known Universe and expanding even off the canvas into splash shaped paintings with drips behaving like tentacles reaching out into the white space of the gallery. A painting in the shape of a random splash of paint determinated into a frozen, stylized form of that quick gesture - slowly and meticulously produced. The shape of the painting thereby talks about the content. The shape is the same as the material: The paint. In the proces it is fluid and alive, and it is frozen and still when the work is done, but then still talking about the action of the proces. A frame in a frame in a frame, like Mandelbrot´s fractal, where the whole fractal is the same shape as the little details it consists of. Nature works the same way according to Fibonacci, and if you zoom in enough, the aliens of grotesque imagery are right there in our own world. In the same manner Jonas Pihl´s paintings are universes where each detail are universes in themselves, implementing imagery from our own apparently rational world, talking about irrational contexts. A universe consisting of little universes consisting of smaller universes to infinity. A multiverse.

Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view