In many ways painting itself is the subject matter of the work of Marius Steiger. Sometimes shaped and life sized, his work relates to cloning and rendering. Each is a perfect representation of itself, nothing is off. He operates in a gray zone between depicting and being, and while we know his works will never actually reflect the world around them in many ways they already are. The dead artifice that’s depicted here shows a medium taking up all the air and leaving nothing but itself in the process.
Although, unlike humans and more like bees or ants, the works suggest an impossibility of individuality within the group. Not just within the paintings of Steiger himself, but almost as if all painting ever done was part of one cancerous expanding cultural narrative. The possibilities of narratives based on the arrangements of quotidian things shows the humor in acting as if painting might have a goal of its own.
In effect his work is a giant still life made out of a collection of still life paintings. Steiger’s paintings have clear conservative borders, all a standard thickness of paint on canvas, but his playing of them into the world dismantles and expands painting’s meta representations. In its push to be everything and more than it thinks it can be, the true humor of Steigers work is in the interest and magic of representation that manages to blossom anyways.