EMPATHY

 I THINK THREFOR I AM (!?) ​

 

a critical assessment of what we know about the cartesian theory of ideas by constructing his own cognitive modeling for the art voyeur.

Rene Descartes’ dictum is a gateway to modernize critical analysis of human understanding and subsequent human action. Fabian Jentsch’s art exhibit is a visual experimentation of our cognitive ability: an experiment by the artist on the art voyeur.
Fabian experiments by altering the facial anatomy of the portraits. The voyeur is confronted by decapitated nude images of full- breasted chests and muscular torsos crowned with abstract geometry and bizarre figurative structures. These altered domes/ craniums put the voyeur in touch with the figure’s thought patterns and personality syndrome. In the grotesque exaggeration and geometric abstraction of thoughts, the portraits seem less like personality profiles and more like snapshots of extreme states of sexual excessiveness, severe pain, and pathological dependency.
These portraits do not represent Fabian’s own feelings, but the empathy he has for others who he depicts in this expressive, figurative visual portrayal. The portraits challenge the viewer to attempt to “read” the thoughts of the figures and to imagine the possibilities all the while pushing against the limits of empathy. Empathy can and should succeed, but it is never conclusive, since the view of the painter is itself highly subjective and abstract.
The figures are based on actual people whose personalities exert a fascination on the artist, namely friends and acquaintances. Object and the subject are only connected by first name; maintaining a level of anonymity designed by Fabian: “I want to understand the nonverbal communication of my fellow human beings in order to better understand my own empathy.” The portraits do not make a judgment for the real persons; this portraiture conveniently avoids making a statement on whether they are bad or good.
Sketching and documenting his observations in writing are the basis painted portraiture experiment. a special combination of paint- ing, paper and canvas fabric creates a rough texture and structures each portrait.