Enrico Freitag


Enrico Freitag (1981) studied Fine Arts at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. While still a student, he was a co-founder of Gallery Eigenheim, a place for contemporary art and communication, which is based in Weimar and Berlin today. In 2009 he participated on a 6-week residency of the Bauhaus Lab in Marseille.
In 2015 he followed a two-month residency in Amsterdam. In the same year he was awarded the scholarship for Fine Arts of the Free State of Thuringia. As a starting point for his figurative paintings Enrico Freitag uses image processing techniques like montage and collage to cut and mix historical photographs with prepared newspapers and video clips or even his own painted works.
The paintings are often dominated by brown and black, and are partially wrapped in an intense moody lighting; the scenes look realistic and indeterminate at the same time. Fascinated by the difference between objective reality and subjective deformed memory, Freitag combines spatial and temporal separated parts, mounts it to a new fictional ensemble, and provides the possibility of present-time-related associations and interpretations.


In Enrico’s work people play a leading role. He deals with the issues of the human being in relation to its working environment: feelings of alienation and fear of being absorbed by nameless masses in generic working places is the main theme in Freitag’s paintings and watercolors. In his paintings with the title Der Grosse Traum von Glück (The big dream of happiness) the daydreaming individuals may be dreaming about happiness, but are they? Captured in the domain of the working place, using the table to take a nap, these dreams seem far from reality. The otherwise empty spaces, which surround the figures, the shelves and cupboards empty, symbolize the gap between reality and fantasy.


In his most recent series, The Pursuit of Happiness, also exhibited at VOLTA NY, Freitag explores the promise of free market capitalism, depicting those consuming and working in pursuit of a false promise of happiness. The paintings reveal the struggle behind this search for prosperity, but also the mechanisms of higher powers (both political and economic) that drive the masses to this quest for presumed happiness.