ATAK: TARGETS FOR THE MODERN HOME
ATAK, born in 1967 and named Georg Barber, paints on maps from the 1950ies and 60ies. He calls this the incorporation of „soul“ into his works, of that which already existed prior. His painted universe consists of rich colors and naturalistic forms. His inspiration is found in the nature and in the folkloristic hunting culture; floral and the forest recurs in his works, and animals as owls and deers are clearly important to ATAK and at the same time the cliché of the world called „Heimat“.
ATAK is working in the fields of painting, graphic art, illustration and installation. After finishing an apprenticeship as a graphics and sign writer, he studied visual communication at Berlin’s art academy, Hochschule der Künste. In 1989 he was a founding member of the cartoon group and the magazine Renate. Numerous national and international awards and lectureships established him as an influential artist. Since 2008 Atak has been teaching as professor of illustration at the art academy Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. His works have been shown in numerous solo and group shows, among others in New York, Paris, Helsinki, Berlin, Stockholm, Lisbon, Zürich, Lucerne, Bologna, Antwerp, Hamburg and Marseilles.
TARGETS FOR THE MODERN HOME
The simple idea: if a painting is finished it would be a fun thing to destroy it - like the pop-band THE WHO who after a concert destroyed all their instruments.
Target for the modern Home is first and foremost a celebration of a culture of destruction. The stage after the gig turned into a battlefield, destroyed in an orgy of wreckage. The end is still at the end. Combined with the sandcastle-complex of the young child; build, stack, only to knock it over and watch it collapse – a jubilant destruction.
Throughout its rich tradition, spanning over 500 years, the culture of target sheets combines both aspects. When we were children, we sometimes would avidly draw targets on cardboard, decorate them with monsters and animals, and later, in the woods, shoot at them with air guns. Most of the target sheets, exhibited in museums, are designed by nameless artists. The artist as craftsman, commissioned for example by shooting clubs to naively paint target sheets serving a useful purpose. Meanwhile, in art history, Jasper Johns opened the way for the use of target sheets in Pop Art with his Target with Four Faces.
The aleatory element is the bullet holes which varies and modifies the motif, animates and augments it with visible and appealing traces. Arrows, darts and bullets are creative tools as well as an outlet for pent-up aggression. These target sheets have the potential for a countless different motives and are therefore available to suit everyone's tastes. The illustrations range from racy images, to animals and nature, and to scenes from comic books. After all, anything can be used as a target. This makes them useful unique pices for every household.