My paparazzi shot of a Ken Sortais Sketch


I surreptitiously took this photo of a Ken Sortais sketch for DRAW A LINE‘s group exhibition show State of Mankind last year during Berlin Art Week. It was lying on a pile of exhibition newspapers next to boxes of Barefoot wine in the foyer of a Potsdamerstrasse apartment/space. I had been following the live drawing of Sortais’s mixed media piece Cosmology, Geology, Cervical on Instagram and then saw the finished piece in the gallery. They had dismantled and packed up most of the artwork but still had to transport the rest out of the space. I had arrived in the morning to find this sketch greeting me. I went over to it like paparazzi to a nude celebrity. I studied it and noted its oddly Japanese kamikaze feel, I guess all red circles and black lines do.

In the finished painting, it is harder to see the individual mess of bodies and looks more like the painful bloody stains of a hellish birth. The whole piece, with its twisting tube of an umbilical cord inflating a phallic-shaped sculpture resembling geological stone, represents a play on Atlas holding up the cosmos.

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