. Bats .. Balls N Bäume … Philip Emde

Cologne 2021/06/25 2021/08/15

Philip Emde presents . Bats .. Balls N Bäume … a new series of paintings depicting studio arrangements featuring his pre-loved and beloved Steiff animals. . Emdiland .. , his studio, is both a sanctuary and a theatrical stage for his enormous collection of animal companions.

The exhibition introduces different characters, including monkeys, that replicate human behavior and allude to nineteenth-century artists such as Gabriel Cornelius von Max. Bats are also part of the show, covering the images creating monochromatic paintings.

Emde’s artistic alphabet reflects art history as well as contemporary music and culture. No wonder the title of the show feels like a hip-hop rhyme. His collection of used animals, which have already lived through the different emotional stages of their previous owners, reveals a deeper insight into the human psyche.

With his concept of “simulacra”, Jean Baudrillard postulates that modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs: the human experience is a simulation of reality. Here, the stuffed companions as playmates are bringing their owners’ projections to life.

Philip Emde can be placed in the same lineage of artists as Mike Kelley, who unveiled the uncanny with the help of toys. Emde’s work humorously deals with the ambiguities of life, finding its own place within contemporary art.

Artist information