Jonah Gebka: Copying

Jonah Gebka

Artwork’s Title: Copying, 2019

Materials Used: Acrylic and watercolour on board

Studio Based: Munich, Germany

Jonah Gebka, Copying, 2019, acrylic and watercolour on board, 59 x 47 cm, © Jonah Gebka and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I work on paper a lot: a combination of drawing, watercolours and different printing techniques. My larger paintings on board and canvas often rely on these paper works, as well as on photographs I stage, in order to construct a more detailed image.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Translating, deconstructing, comparing.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

I am interested in reproductions and have used them in different ways. “Copying” shows a reproduction being made by a machine, an act that directly relates to my own painting practice. I wanted the image to be as clear as possible, so I left out the writings on the back of the books. The top view allows me to depict the two sheets of paper in the machine, one lying flat, the other wavy.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Ideally my works would be exhibited in a series of connected rooms, enough for me to put the different images in some sort of dialogue with each other, especially across several rooms. This would allow me to further develop my interest in repetition.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Thomas Bayrle, Julian Opie, Julia Wachtel, Jennifer Bartlett, Nicole Eisenman, Neil Jenney, Jeff Wall, Christopher Williams and Barbara Probst. I also enjoyed Jaques Tati’s film “Play Time” a lot, as well as costume designer Janie Bryant’s attention to detail for the television series “Mad Men”.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I just moved into my first own studio at Städtisches Atelierhaus am Domagkpark, a city-funded studio house in the north of Munich. The room has about 40 square meters and a small sink in one corner. I have set up a large table in the middle and some storage space to one side, separated from the rest of the space by a system of shelves. Right now the walls are covered in images: drawings and collages, prints and a lot of research material. In one corner I have stacked the eight printers I have recently been working with, but I would like to find a more practical solution for them.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

A show about tapestries titled “Die Fäden der Moderne” at Hypo-Kunsthalle, Munich. I liked seeing how a painting is translated into a woven pattern and the effect this translation has on the original image. Suddenly the sense of touch also becomes part of seeing.

Which are your plans for the near future?

My new works on paper are still on view at Susan Boutwell Gallery in Munich until January 18th. In February I will be part of a group-show in Leipzig at Kunstraum Ortloff with Janka Zöller, Alina Grasmann and Hannes Heinrich. And finally in September I will present my first solo-show and an accompanying publication at Galerie der Künstler in Munich.

Additional Artworks

Jonah Gebka, Untitled, 2019, watercolour and inkjet-print on paper, 31,5 x 24 cm, © Jonah Gebka and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Jonah Gebka, Repeated Grove, 2018, watercolour on paper, each 40 x 30 cm, © Jonah Gebka and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Photo: © Sebastian Schels
Jonah Gebka, Untitled, 2019, ink and inkjet-print on paper, 29 x 21 cm, © Jonah Gebka and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

© All images courtesy of Jonah Gebka

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