Wolfgang Becksteiner

1972 (Graz), lives and works in Graz.

Günter Brus about Wolfgang Becksteiner:

Wolfgang Becksteiner destroys the facade of things, he robs the objects of their glued-on souls. He questions the character of the human eye and emphasizes stumbling blocks in our path. He reduces his system to a chess game with four squares and two pieces. Before he mixes his concrete, reflection takes place in his skull. He does not shy away from aesthetic taboos in the selection of commonplace things and makes bombs out of concrete. In the end, however, these bombs, reduced in size, fit into pretty boxes of candy. They only explode in the minds of highly moral thinkers. Becksteiner is an extremely hard-working craftsman, far away from mixing machines. His patient hands wander through piece by piece before they reach strictly pre-set quantities. Undeterred he goes his way, away from the obligatory art business. His creative stubbornness always gives rise to combinations of exact planning and precise execution.

He is a concrete machinist who consistently and persistently creates a predetermined number of objects; a reality deceiver who miraculously transforms a wooden table into concrete. Becksteiner overrides the psychological irritability of things. His art consists of a reduction to the essential, to a mythology-free form, to a materialism of shapes. Where his technique meets its limits, he relies on the experience of archaeology.

He digs up hardened forms, recently buried. He replaces the language of the signature with a fingerprint and thus becomes the inventor of forgery-proof art. If he could, he would build the sound barrier of concrete, as well as taupe beads or spider webs. But the material knows its limits, but not the imagination. Seemingly pointless, he seems to expand the range of goods stored on the shelves. But perhaps this is a cynical criticism of the senseless oversupply. Becksteiner's material art is never enigmatic, but always predictable. Of course, Becksteiner's works of art are only conditionally household objects such as sculptures or paintings. But they await commissioned works from the industrial sector, where Becksteiner's architectural skill could produce a brilliant effect. It is not necessary to emphasise that Becksteiner cast gold bar moulds in concrete in order to degrade the valuable cultural asset to triviality.

Handicraft and understanding are the basis for Becksteiner's work.