Adrian Ghenie explores and subverts history and art through his paintings. He seeks to discover feelings of vulnerability, frustration or desire. And often he relies on the human experience and ideas of the collective unconscious.
The artist’s expressive use of paint is accentuated by cinematic lighting and compositions inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch films. He incorporates personal memories, art historical references, film stills, and images gleaned from the internet into the fabric of his paintings, which are cut out and fused together. Ghenie’s creative process begins with collaged compositions that he then transfers to canvas with a palette knife to create gestural strokes and textures. The deconstructed images frequently include allusions to his artistic forefathers, such as Théodore Géricault, Henri Rousseau, and, in his hybrid self-portraits, Vincent van Gogh.
Ghenie’s paintings are a mix of realism and abstraction. They are often dark and gloomy with a lot of attention to detail. They are also heavily influenced by Romanian history and culture, which is evident from the names that he gives to his paintings.