Early addictions are the hardest to overcome. Better don’t feed the kids with pleasurable highs”. This is a quote taken from the artist’s website that brings us to the essence of the “SWEETEST GIRL IN TOWN” painting. A poignant quote that is conveyed by the face of a young girl whose sweet face is covered in sugar-filled treats. A message is relevant on many levels. Is Falk ‘AKUT’ Lehmann referring to the obvious status of today’s youth and their addiction to sugar and fast food? Is it a note to the potential troubles ahead, and the risks of drugs and alcohol? Or a reflection on the generations of young people who tend for the short cuts, instead of the long and hard road? The interpretation is left to the viewer once they manage to look past the exceptional craftsmanship of the 50cm x 50cm painting, in acrylic and spray paint.
Featuring Falk ‘AKUT’ Lehmann
With the image’s source coming from a staged photograph in black and white, “SWEETEST GIRL IN TOWN” and all the candies displayed in it is filled with enough color it almost makes you want to brush your teeth. The soft charcoal sketch is painstakingly built-up, layer by layer of fine mists of Montana GOLD paint. Applied as overspray in seamless precision, but at the same time equal. In a display of patience pure, the artist sprays blobs of Montana GOLD color on scrap paper, and then using even smaller paper strips, he dips into the wet paint and uses the strips to create fine solid marks.
Vibrant colors are then sculpted using Montana ACRYLIC markers in FINE and EXTRA FINE, applying the right levels of opacity to the faint, transparent layers. Once the painting is more, or less complete, AKUT takes the biggest risk of all and paints a series of letters or words directly over the girl’s face. What is written is hard to define as it is applied in Montana GOLD TRANSPARENT black. Just enough paint to create a new plain, yet not enough to distract from the content. He then works back with precision into the sweets on the girl’s face, bringing their opacity back in front of the transparent black text. A clever infusion of realism of abstraction. Regardless of its message or its small scale, this engaging painting packs a big punch. In true AKUT form, the girl’s eyes peer at the viewer, as if real. It is unclear which emotions she is hiding behind those realistic brown globes. Is it pain, is it regret, is it fear? Whatever it is, it’s enchanting. Take a look for yourself here.
All images by the artist Akut