27. June 2024. – 30. August
MegnyitóOpening: June 26, 2024, 7:00 pm

Rohrböck’s images are reminiscent of the typical, vibrant advertising spaces of the urban wilderness. In his works, the visuality of posters and graffiti is mixed with avant-garde art forerunners and the world of contemporary urban existence.

At first glance, the artist’s latest series of paintings, Ripped, give an abstract impression, but on closer inspection one recognises the multiplicity of figural elements and the narrative that they convey, but the whole story is obscured by the tattered surface. It is as if we are looking at a book whose pages have been stuck together in an organic way and it is impossible to read the original text. The story is built from the pages of the Japanese comic books the artist loves, with organic gestures, tears and doodles emerging from the bricks, emphasising the message between the lines.

For the European, the exoticism of the Far Eastern imagery and text is heightened by the unusual direction of the reading. The right-to-left progression is broken, however, by graffiti running in opposite directions, sympathetic to the intrusive typography of the sound imitating words in the comics – BOOM!, ROARR!, SPLASH!! (BNW and Hommage series). We would like to fill in the missing details of the artist’s battered tales, just as we would like to continue the occasionally broken lines of the scribbles. We feel a kind of inner compulsion to restore, as we do with an unfinished jigsaw puzzle.

However, the images convey a romantic attitude that a ruin is often a more magnificent experience than a flawless building, just as a damaged sculpture is sometimes more complete than an intact one. In contrast to the sterile, mute surfaces that irritate graffiti artists, a dilapidated, tormented wall proclaims the truth because it speaks of unavoidable change and passing. But it does so in a melody that swells with life, in which the graffiti canonically echo the voice of nature reclaiming abandoned buildings.

Today’s ruins were discovered by graffiti artists searching for undisturbed paintable surfaces, long before the advent of urbex (urban exploring). Their signature is thus part of the aesthetics of the modern ruin experience. Just as a few hundred years ago the possibility of enjoying the ruins was recognised, today the celebration of the passing is widespread. Rohrböck’s paintings, like the environment around us, are in motion, commemorating a process in which individual layers piled on top of each other are a natural noise to the rhythm of the universal mechanism at work in the background.

Dániel Bencs