Our love for Rachel de Joode goes all the way back to our very first issue in 2011 for which she styled and photographed a delectable editorial called “Casual Ghosts”. It was all that and a bag of chips, which is why when De Joode’s second solo exhibit “Surfaces” opened at Neumeister Bar-Am a couple of weeks ago we were all over it. It’s open for another 9 days so get your bum in gear and see it while it’s here!
Neumeister Bar-Am is a “mid-size” gallery in Charlottenburg and requires that you climb a couple flights of stairs to get there, but getting to step into de Joode’s gushy, shiny, fleshy universe is well worth it. The 15 pieces in the exhibit range from messily cast jade green-colored bronze sculptures of thumbprints to high quality collaged prints matted onto PVC and hung on ceramic hooks. De Joode manages to mix two seemingly opposite media: sculpture – tactile and messy – and photography, where technical mechanisms are hidden inside the camera. She recognizes the fallacies of these set categories, though and is interested in their closeness. Photographs, which are inherently superficial, are transformed into messy, textured gobs of familiar but abstracted forms in de Joode’s hands. There is something soothing about de Joode’s work at first glance; the colors are quite nice, all minty and pink and pastel but when one looks closer, her collages are unsettling. There is both a fissure and an intimacy created between viewers and the pieces. From a distance they are conceptual and up close they reveal themselves as firmly grounded in our reality, which can be messy and beautiful, oozy and wrinkly, repulsive and seductive all at once.