Almar Steinn Atlason: Funeral at the Beach
The exhibition features works done by the artist from 2016-2017 on the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. There he lived in a van and was occupied by painting, beauty and sorrow. In what he describes as an insane desire for expression and out of sheer incomprehension, the works were made. The chaos that characterizes many of the works at first glance is carefully constructed and calculated. Internal chaos and personal shortcomings are revealed with raw dynamism as to show an awkward but beautiful existence in an authentic way.
The mission of the works was an attempt to express an experience of a chaotic world in an organized way. “I was going to find the aesthetics that are found in cave paintings, children’s drawings and inspired speeches by those who only have a superficial knowledge of the topic but have thus a better mood and might even have had a few drops to drink. Then I dropped out of rehab and moved to La Réunion. There, under the palm trees, I relearned how to paint. I think we are exposed to magnified horrific influences and stimuli every day. So much so that there is no possibility of even roughly classifying all this information, let alone work something useful out of it. But I believe in work and most of all I believe in hard work. If I work and work and paint and paint and paint all day every day then maybe I can come close to expressing a little bit of the overwhelming inspiration that comes from simply being a human.“
Almar has a BFA from the Iceland Academy of the Arts. His performances have attracted attention in recent years, but he has mostly been involved in painting. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions both in Iceland and abroad. Funeral at the Beach is his second solo exhibition of paintings.