Artist Jochen Mühlenbrink

Jochen Mühlenbrink

Germany, 1980. Based in Düsseldorf

Jochen Mühlenbrink is best known for his "trompe l'oeil" paintings made through a painting technique that "tricks the eye," inducing in the viewer the illusion of reality. His hyperrealistic works describe his philosophical approach to painting, where themes of perspective, imagination, escapism and secrecy converge. Mühlenbrink investigates the ambiguity of reality through the execution of natural optical effects in painting. His misted glass panes with figures and illustrations seemingly drawn from condensation, for example, are actually paintings and exist as much for the illusion they produce as for the material they are made of. The misty glasses, with their pristine surfaces disturbed by fingerprints, immediately become images within images and demonstrate what can be seen through them. Looking at these works by Mühlenbrink, one is reminded of the innocence and inventiveness of childhood when, sitting in the back of a car, one would trace drawings on fogged windows with one's fingers. In this way the artist offers a glimpse of what lies beyond the fog, and the colorful suburban houses give his paintings two areas of focus. In other works the artist paints windows as if they were obscured by tape, at other times in his oil paintings he reproduces scribbled sheets, postcards, Polaroid photos hung on a wall with portions of colored tape, all illusions produced by painting that subverts the preconceived idea of reality.