Sebastian Neeb uses sculpture, painting and a healthy dose of humour in order to speak of the mechanisms and strategies that are used in the manipulation of groups and individuals. Humour, he claims, is used as a method of gaining more direct access to the viewer, a way to confront the viewer in the same means that a viewer confronts an object. From here, he derives his quirky sense of humour. “For me, art is also an observer’s confrontation with an object. From this perspective, certain approaches unfold as to how an artwork is to be conceived in order to form the moment of confrontation and to convert it into a lasting effect.”
His series of gilded ceramic trophies are intended for use as awards for nonsensical, pointless achievements. With titles such as ‘Trophy for Being Where Everyone Else Is’ (2017), and ‘Trophy for Pulling Faces in Front of the Mirror’ (2017), the series highlights the idea that awarding the awarding of a trophy is a precarious action that offers no value in and of itself, only serving to highlight the need for frequent material reassurance for ‘achievements’ that hold no real significance. The characters depicted in the trophies are visually grotesque and Goya-esque in their appearance, contrasting with the more familiar, representational characters in his paintings.