Five still men in a pool whilst a DJ’s playing only metres away and not that far away from him bottles of wine seem to build up. A waiter serves a man a glass in the bar, both are wearing an empire-style white shirt. A naked man is reading in his bed with his socks on. Two guys are carrying white shopping bags. Dogs are being walked by their alienated owners. Men drinking wine together, all wearing white underwear. A bearded man is watering the plants of his garden in sandals and socks… These are some of the residents of Audun Alvestad’s fascinating aesthetic world.
THE EVERYDAY AUDUN ALVESTAD
Audun Alvestad’s paintings are populated by normal men. By men you who meet every single day of your life. By normal men who propose a new masculinity that has nothing to do with the male roughness of the past century… but also not the complete opposite.
And they all have one thing in common: they depict the everyday average man in the street, Because it seems like we’re living in a moment in which we have to break with the 20th century vision of masculinity and that the only way we can do so is by giving it a Copernican twist towards queer territory. Opposite the eternal cigar-smoking cowboy is the Youtuber posting make-up tutorials. Opposite the rough, silent hero is the sensitive, crybaby antihero. Isn’t this leaving behind the possibility of normalcy and quotidian life?
That is precisely where the characters from Audun Alvestad’s are born, the artist who was born in 1989 in Aalesund (Norway) and that has carried out exhibitions that have been widely received by the public of his native country (Norway’s Arts Council), in Denmark (Gallery Kant) and even in London (Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery). It’s impossible not to perceive this as a mere tentative start to what this man will be able to conquer, starting from the chromatic palette and hieratic emotions seen in Russeau which he then takes to the statism and solace inherent to Edward Hopper.
Though still managing to define a totally unique, original and above all highly necessary territory. Because the 21st-century masculinity will be defined from the opposite margin to the one from the 20th century, obviously… But also from the dissidence of quotidian life. Of what’s normal.