Artist: Botond Keresztesi
Exhibition title: Machines With Love
Curated by: Peter Bencze
Venue: Longtermhandstand, Budapest, Hungary
Date: September 29 – November 21, 2022
Photography: All images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Longtermhandstand, Budapest
In Machines With Love the diverse motifs of Botond Keresztesi meet the sprawling ornamentation of Art Nouveau, bringing into existence new, technosecession hybrids. The morphology of his figures are based on the decorative curves of Art Nouveau mirrors and furniture; while on his surfaces the visual elements of the past, present and possible future are fluidly melted into each other and distorted almost beyond the point of recognition. In the compositions of Keresztesi, various transformers, pearlescent shells, Hi-tech automotive components, Noh masks, bionic body parts and wonders of antique sculpture are set in symbiosis, all of which slowly smooth into a constantly fluctuating, yet unified entity.
„Botond Keresztesi’s paintings strike a playful tone with nostalgia through a unique perspective that’s rooted in the autobiographical and expands into the universal. Capturing the chaotic evolution of collective cultural iconography,his work collapses ancient and futuristic timelines, High and Low Art, and the local and global into a single frame.Comparing his works to ‘flea markets’, Keresztesi creates democratic constellations of images within painterly multiverses located outside of traditional space-time. From ancient times to a cyborgian future, there is no hierarchy between cultural icons and everyday items on his canvases; lava lamps, Iphones and details from Hieronymus Bosch and Caravaggio works share body parts with mythical animals, Ancient greek sculptures, sphinxes and surveillance cameras. atemporal landscapes that oscillate between utopia and dystopia. These icons are often conjured forth from his random, intuitiveassociations, plastered across He draws on 20th century art history including metaphysical painting and surrealism, citing Giorgio de Chirico, Rene Magritte and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as influences.Playing with notions of authorship and authenticity, he inserts his own hybrid characters into iconic works by the likes of Henri Matisse and Édouard Manet. In his recent series inspiredby Torok Janos’s famous models for Zsolnay porcelain, the artist crosses the delicate figures with shiny telescopes, transporting the classical forms into a futuristic experimental laboratory.As a member of the ‘analog’ Y generation, Keresztesi’s interest in the aesthetics of technology stems in large part from having lived through an ongoing period of rapid digitalization, the contradictions of which are manifested in his eclectic visual world.„