Daniele Buetti

The pictures of the Series Oh boy oh boy! are reminiscent of early mosaics as well as of coloured glass windows. The artist sets these associations deliberately with strong links to pictorial traditions on the one hand and to motives which are imprinted on our cultural memory on the other.

Like in his earlier works, everything starts with photographic images. However, in this case Buetti reuses images, which do not derive from fashion magazines but from documentary photography. They tell from terror, war and seemingly insoluble conflicts. Their cruelty and suffer cause dismay. Mostly, these images reach us only via private snapshots along intricate paths. The artist converts these pictures towards abstraction and thereby extinguishes large parts of their information. Through the form of their new presentation and its underlying character, they nearly become icons. As before, Buetti irritates us with a sense for aesthetic arrangements and a pretended enticing beauty.

The artist transforms the original motives in many production steps on the computer in such a way that their original content seems to disappear behind the aesthetic surface. Parts of the pictures are extracted and substituted with coloured pieces in different sizes. Merely the outlines of the central figures and structures remain rudimentarily recognizable, although they are also segregated into little colour-segments. However, the intervention goes further. The outlines are cut out with a laser contour cut, so that a mosaic-like surface emerges.

In most works, several figures are to be recognised. Without knowledge of the original image, the scenes are not discernible. Only indications remain. In the work „oh boy oh boy_V“, an image of a prisoner tortured by American soldiers from Abu Ghraib in Bagdad remains unambiguously recognizable. As a result, incertitude arises in terms of what we see in all other works of the series. The title of the series pushes this ambivalence even further. As an exclamation of surprise the German correspondence of the series title „oh boy oh boy! “ leaves open whether it is a remark of joy or, nevertheless, desperation.