A simple child that lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
As I already did in my landscapes I try to achieve a balance between the artificiality of the avatars and the emotional affection they allow. The viewer is attracted and held on distance at the same time.
My Avatars have no history, they seem to be eternally young but they exist only for the very moment.
"No Place to Fall" is the title of one of Gerhard Mantz's works. Does that mean „this is not a good place to fall“ or „there is no place where one can let oneself fall“? The places that Gerhard Mantz brings into our world with terrifying realism by way of computer simulation are frightening dystopias (dys-topia Greek: not a good place).
We behold an only seemingly intact world of villas and palaces where nude children and youths are left to their own devices without adult supervision. But they do not really seem scared at all, not of the wall of fire outside nor of the dead horse on the Persian carpet.
Is it a macabre admonition not to let our children grow up like that? Or is it a liberating revolution of the next generation that sends shivers down our spine?
What are the reasons for that world? Is there hope? Where does the voyage go and who is the master of that world? Gerhard Mantz is not the first artist to ask these questions. But he enormously enlarges our angle of view while referencing art historical models from Fra Angelico over Vermeer to Balthus. The hyper-realism of, unfortunately, not hypothetical questions is uncomfortable. One hardly dares to look; feeling „made“ as a voyeur.
Till Richter, Till Richter Museum, Buggenhagen