Jakob Steen: Am I not here to be your mother
Am I Not Here to Be Your Mother (Er jeg ikke her for at være din mor) is Jakob Steen’s second solo exhibition at Bricks Gallery. The exhibition includes new paintings, drawings, ceramics and scagliola works created in Costa Rica, Mallorca and Præstø, respectively.
Imagine a forest: thick vegetation in the form of an atmosphere rather than a physical piece of nature; an invisible density that surrounds you. That is the first step. And then, imagine how the moisture, that heavy, almost malleable air of the warm forest, can hang in a room with walls: steaming slightly, oozing out of objects. These works, which are not made of nature, nonetheless have grown from it. In this way, you enter the saturated yet quietly blurred reality of Jakob Steen: a reality of landscapes and spirit which has arisen from a state somewhere between subconscious and awake. It is a translation of one human being’s isolated exis- tence in the forest, but it also carries out the shapelessness of dreaming; that feeling of dreams, where logic has been abolished.
In Jakob Steen’s bright forest of plaster, paint, canvas and glass, there are no immediate boundaries between what reality is, how it is dreamed up and what it looks like. A mother and a fruit, an arm or an open eye – these are tangible things from our world. Yet no less real are the heatwaves radiating from the colours, and the life, which takes the shape of a strange monkey or an octopus – depending on whose eyes are looking. The gaze can roam calmly between layers of consciousness throughout the exhibition, recognize known shapes or let itself be enveloped in shapeless pink sympathy. This is how care feels and what it looks like. And these works are caring. Can’t the impression of care easily expand? Not limit itself to the human, the body, but just as easily and truly pour out from a loving green place in the world, or from that morning’s inexhaustible orange sun? Are we not here to feel?
Jakob Steen (born in Cambridge, England, 1986) is a Danish visual artist who works across several disciplines and media including painting, glass, scagliola and ceramics. He debuted in 2018 with a solo exhibition at Collaborations followed by Rammet af Solen a solo show and publication at Bricks Gallery in 2019. He has participated in group shows at CCA Andratx – Mallorca, Collaborations, Bricks Gallery, Alice Folker Gallery, Code Art Fair and Enter Art Fair among others. This summer, Jakob Steen participates in the group exhibition Soil, Sickness, Society at Rønnebæksholm Kunsthal.
The artist lives and works in Præstø, Denmark