The pace of today’s society is often hard to keep up with. In a world filled with wannabes and ladder climbers, everyone is doing their bit to save face and play the role that is expected of them to get to where they want to go. But is it where they need to be, or even who they really are? Even for kids, the value of a perfect selfie on social media now has more value than the actual content of their true personality. And what personalities do they even have, at least outside of their digital ones? The German artist Falk Lehmann aka AKUT has been observing this social condition with concern for the destination it is taking our society. For the exhibition “Réalités” at Galerie Mathgoth focussing on the work of hyper realistic artists, in January 2020, AKUT created the painting “MASQUERADE“.

Studio Insights - "MASQUERADE"

Featuring Falk ‘AKUT’ Lehmann

The process of the painting’s creation was a magical one, that took us right to the pulse of what makes AKUT’s work so impressive. The 80cm x 100cm work started its journey as a soft charcoal sketch on the canvas. The image of a girl, removing her face as a mask which doubles as that which society sees as her ‘real’ face. Under it, a chrome face, lifeless, smooth, and void of personality. Only her eyes (a trademark talent showcasing AKUT’s abilities), seem to be real, however void of any emotions other than shame and regret.

The background, a connection to AKUT’s graffiti roots, is a dirty, earthy texture of tags and dark color, straight from his Montana GOLD cans and Montana ACRYLIC markers. Layers of acrylic paint are then converted into three-dimensional form by fine coats of paint mist from an array of colors from the Montana GOLD range. AKUT then adds the final touches to the hyper-real image by way of precision line work from his Montana ACRYLIC FINE and EXTRA FINE markers. Even elements of the chrome face are brought to life by perfectly placed colors applied in distinct marker generated lines. Although the message a hard pill to swallow, the image itself a mystical interpretation of the modern lay life of our youth and young people. No wonder the image sold at the exhibition. Take off your own mask in the privacy of your own home and be amazed by MASQUERADE.

All images by the artist Akut