Art Criticism


 - One might say that, as an artist, you typically explore the theme of alienation, but that clearly manifests itself in different ways throughout your work. Do you agree with that assessment? If so, can you elaborate on the causes for such alienation?

Yes, I agree, absolutely!

First of all, when a person is born as an artist, that person already belong to the alienation because he or she is different from their peers. They think in a way that is incomprehensible from the vast majority of people. Their way of acting, speaking, joking, creating – generally communicating – and, in particular, their ability to see what others cannot – makes them dangerous to society and to the environment in which they live.

That is why the artist is always part of alienation. It is a gift that society with all consciousness throw away.

The Phases Of Rammstein

THE PHASES OF RAMMSTEIN centers on a grand narrative that is both personal and global, and this is exactly what makes his work so important and relevant today. - by Jill Smith, NY Arts Magazine, New York 2012

Berlin Poche Magazine

Les peintures de C.W. Lübeck sont caractérisées par une combinaison unique de réalisme et d’abstraction surréaliste. Je trouve cette série, « The Phases of Rammstein », assez perturbante. L’artiste C.W. Lübeck s’y connaît bien en anatomie et a utilisé ce savoir afin de donner une réalité perturbante à ces figures surréalistes tordues. Bien que ce ne soit pas particulièrement beau, j’aime cette pièce à la fois pour le traitement assuré et l’exploration psychologique captivante mise en jeu ici.   Comme le dit C.W. Lübeck : « Je me souviens me dire à moi-même : ʺC’est assez incroyable ce que la musique de Rammstein et mon art ont en commun !ʺ. Des chansons telles que ʺBück Dichʺ (Penche-toi), ʺReise, Reiseʺ (Voyage, Voyage), ʺBestrafe mich » (Punis-moi), ʺMein Teilʺ (Ma Part, ʺMutterʺ (Mère) ou encore ʺSehnsuchtʺ (Nostalgie) ont déjà laissé leur marque dans mes peintures les plus récentes.

NY Arts Magazine

C.W.Lübeck’s painting Time of Innocence reflects this sense of alienation. In this work, the artist captures a melancholic portrayal of an anonymous person. With halved face, part cerulean blue and part blue grey, there is a sense of fragmentation, a rupture in one’s life. The blue-grey half is expressionless and youthful; its other half features a worried brow and troubled eye staring towards the ground. The figure’s awkward, restrained posture painted in pale ochre’s and yellow creates an intimate, revealing narrative of the difficult life stages that we face. In Time of Innocence there is also a sense of personal pain and torture that is reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s historically popular painting, ‘The Scream’. Munch explained that his painting ‘represents the universal anxiety if the modern man’. He explained further that he painted this painting as ‘a study of the soul, [which is] to say the study of my own self’. Unlike Munch, Lübeck did not explain his painting any further, he chooses to leave the interpretation to the audience, and he encourages the audience to use their own imaginations when looking at his paintings, which, in some respect, makes his paintings more interesting and more enticing than if it had one.

My FAULT is my art which is, at the same time, both my imprisonment and my freedom. - C.W.Lübeck

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

If the Joker from The Dark Knight was right in assessing that “whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger,” then there must be a lot of things that haven’t yet killed Carl Wassa Lübeck. I don’t say this as a joke (for the most part), as this Swedish artist’s work tends to gravitate towards tragedy, chaos and that violently dark side of humanity that few are willing to casually talk about—even the artist himself.

The identity of our phantom now becomes clearer: he is drawn to the twisted and vulgar aberrations in our human condition (or are these truths that, out of vanity, we like to often repress?). Lübeck, on the contrary, decompresses them, pulls them around by the nose and, as if with a piece of malleable clay, molds out a caricature of the human body. Based on his inspirations, his work appears to be less self-portraiture and more of a collective portrait of the world as he sees it. If we are willing to take C. W. Lübeck seriously, then these are images full of condemnation, holding up a mirror to the contemporary world. How far this vision is from truth, as always, is up for interpretation and open to conversation. But, as Lübeck, I won’t ‘kill the magic’ of his work by further explaining it either.