outta space warriors


Oil on canvas

243 × 213.2 cm (95 11/16 × 83 15/16 in.)

Against an incandescent background, two young men in street clothes, hooded sweatshirts and tracksuits, represented by flat tints of pure colour—pink, black, and grey—are depicted life-size, arms raised, as if in movement, captured in strange poses that seem disarticulated. Is the figure in grey dancing? Is he throwing a projectile? Is his partner, with his breakdancer-like movements, protecting himself with his elbow or improvising a move? Between urban dance and wrestling, the atmosphere seems charged.

Florian Krewer (b. 1986) draws inspiration from photographs of his relatives, taken in their urban environment, to represent these young men in large-scale paintings. But the particular attention that this artist pays to the monumentality of the figures, the colours, and the effects of matter, are reminiscent of those of his elder and friend Peter Doig. The simplification of the bodies transforms these modern-day silhouettes into universal, expressionist, strange, and disturbing figures, animated by an extraordinary energy.

If the power of painting is to embody, Florian Krewer reveals its mystery when his entire canvases become flesh and raw colours, contested with the dark night or glowing red with anger. Urban scenes, brawls, battles, in which the stalker, the accomplice, and the victim merge.