Munich-born illustrator and graphic designer Nina Bachmann has carved out a niche for herself blurring the boundaries between banality and absurdity.
Using garish colours and eccentric characters, her illustrations offer up a visual feast for her viewers to gorge on. Mostly, these are created using acrylic and oil sticks on canvas, but she also regularly builds sculptures with different materials such as modelling clay and bronze.
Bachmann’s work has now come to the UK in the form of her new solo exhibition at art gallery Moosey London. Titled Premium Pleasure, the show focuses on her trademark yellow-faced, genderless characters.
While at first glance, the illustrator’s characters appear euphoric, intoxicated, even jubilant, their anxious grimaces betray the insecurities that lie beneath.
It is this duality that Bachmann aims to convey to her viewers, who in seeing themselves reflected on the canvas are meant to receive a “tenuous pleasure” from her works. “In us there is a wellspring of hedonism, the little voice telling us that it won’t hurt to have just one more,” she says.
“Most of us know what it’s like to let go in the heat of a moment, and most of us know intimately the highs that come with it. But we also know that no high can last. The higher we go, the harder we fall – an unsettling truth.”