The painter Oliver Rodriguez-Kroll is primarily concerned with the darker sides of human existence – with both individual, relatively innocuous pain as well as with the limitless frenzy pervading the history of humanity. Stories of perpetrators, victims, followers…
Looking to artistically de-demonise the day-to-day madness, Oliver Rodriguez-Kroll constantly uncovers new findings: ranging from storm troopers out of the Star Wars saga (of which he had, as a child, gathered up to 300 plastic figurines in his room) to antique tin soldiers, disused lifestyle magazines and faded posters.
All of these are a source of inspiration, templates or material for collages; they prompt him to counter the pervading contemporary banalisation of social issues with irony.
Simultaneously, certain pieces are a consciously naive way of dealing with traumatising experiences, be they his own or someone else’s, so as to make them more bearable, both for himself and for the observer.
Simple colours and shapes dominate these paintings and collages. Rather than to exude the stress experienced, the large, yet discreet pieces convey a feeling of calm and order.
Oliver Rodriguez-Kroll was born in 1971 in Hamburg. He has been living and working in Berlin since 1999 after several years in London and Paris.
“Zirkus Stalin Zirkus Hollywood” opens this week at Pool Gallery, and runs until September 13.