Martin C. Herbst (Born 1965, Salzburg)
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria
Martin C. Herbst pushes the limits of traditional painting. Most of his delicately executed paintings expand to the third dimension without denying their two-dimensional origin. He devoted his attention over the last decades more or less exclusively to the human image. His work demonstrates an innovative and unconventional approach to the portrait and to painting in general, which the artist liberates from its bondage to the two-dimensional surface, conquering the third dimension.
Martin C. Herbst made his international breakthrough with the spheres, which he presented for the first time at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2007. Half of each mirror-polished stainless steel sphere carries an expressive face, while the other remains bare metal, a convex mirror displaying fascinating reflections of the surrounding space. In this strikingly natural symbiosis, painting factually and virtually conquers the third dimension. It fluctuates and offers multiple points of view. Resting simply on the floor without a base, the spheres can be turned in any direction. The faces painted upon them can be looked at from a variety of perspectives, whereby their expressions seem to change according to the beholder’s standpoint.
Herbst has shown extensively around the world including solo exhibits in New York, Miami, Toronto, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Basel, Düsseldorf.