The monsters in your backyard

Published: 08 December, 2013 12:05 IST | kareena n gianani |

In his paintings, German artist Martin Eder places nature in kitschy, artificial, even melancholic settings to convey the mockery man makes of the wild

Over the past 15 years, German artist Martin Eder’s exhibitions in Europe and the US have attempted to critique how capitalism is obsessed with nudity to sell everything. In his debut exhibition that started on December 5 at Gallery Isa at Fort, however, he chooses to dissipate all cutesy, paradisiacal notions of nature. Owls with eerily vacant eyes, wilting flowers arranged artificially like they often are in bouquets -- think kitschy, think bleak, and you get what Eder is trying to say through his nine works titled, Monsters of Silence.

In Monsters of Silence, Martin Eder has explored the monstrosity and the artificiality we subject nature to

Eder grew up in a Bavarian hamlet with a population of 300 and often ran into the nearby forest in absence of crèches and kindergarten. “I was always respectful of nature, with its tons of details, but I was also aware of the tricks it played on me as it got dark,” he smiles. Eder began painting at the age of six and grew up with an insatiable interest in science and maths. “The more I explored art, the more I delved into science and maths to find answers.”

A painting titled Decision

In Monsters of Silence, Eder explores the “monstrosity and the artificiality we subject nature to”. “In my works, I try to create combinations and worlds which are not possible -- owls in catastrophic situations, their all-seeing eyes foggy; flowers around acid and in what might as well be tunnels instead of on trees, and so on. It would be delightful if the viewers can take these interpretations further,” says Eder.

Instead of exhibiting his usual nude motifs, Eder decided to go ahead with nature this time around. “I have always maintained that it more important to have your work seen, and thatconcerns me more than anything. So, here I am,” he smiles.

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