Ralf Kempken's Optical Illusion Wins 2012 Australian Stencil Art Prize
Created using a number of painstakingly prepared, hand-carved paper stencils produced using a simple scalpel, the winning work is an engaging optical illusion as well as an engrossing work of art.
Intended as daily reminders that we have a conscious choice in how to look at the world around us, the artist’s screens filter all we see through past experiences and memories. An evolution of the stencil as a tool to produce a painting, Kempken’s unique creations turn the stencil into the artwork itself.
“We all screen and frame our personal view of the world and with this in mind the stencils have turned into screens. Artwork that can be seen through and create optical illusions. The screens are intended as daily reminders that we have a conscious choice in how to look at the world around us,” the artist explains on his website.
Ralf Kempken has been cutting and spraying multi layered stencils for years. From portraiture, iconic Melbourne cafes and modernist architecture, the stencil is used to spray images in countless variations. All work is hand cut into paper, acetate, canvas or timber. With some outside help they can also be cut into steel. Ralf has been exhibiting continuously since 2001.
The Australian Stencil Art Prize began as just an idea in early 2008. It grew out of discussions about the calibre of stencil art in Sydney’s Innerwest and a desire to see more of it. Late in 2008 a small start-up grant was received from Marrickville Council and an Art Prize was born.
An exhibition of the winning and finalist works will be held at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown in Sydney's Inner West from the 21st of November
All the 2012 Finalist Artworks are available for sale online and can be viewed here