Against the backdrop of industrial chimneys, tidal waves and soaring satellites, satanists play their synthesizers while the world is falling apart. Inside a Corbusian building a middle aged man is hitting a woman with a whip. She’s on hands and knees, tightly leathered up. A third person is standing in the same room, watching them. Discarded pieces of human flesh are scattered around, some are displayed morbidly, on purpose. A five headed monster outside shrieks with desperation. I can’t blame it. If all this was happening and I had five heads, I can guarantee you that I would shriek, too.
Peter Feiler’s paintings are not what they appear to be. When you look at them here – downsized and digitally reproduced as png’s or jpegs, it will be hard to discern anything beyond the myriad of colored lines and shapes, let alone distill any of the scenes described above. Dr. Weishaupt muss dem Patienten Goliath Teile des Gehirns entfernen. Der Demokrat kann danach nie mehr wählen, (2009 – 2011) seems here a chaotic mismatch of random, surrealist doodles you’d assume to be produced by someone with vivid, haunting nightmares, or perhaps someone moderately disturbed.
In an ideal world I would take you to the Ron Mandos gallery in Amsterdam today, because viewing Feiler’s pieces in the flesh will change your opinion and thoughts of them immensely. What you will experience is something that comes close to travelling to a different galaxy, a twisted universe where horror surfaces in front of you, and where with every slight move of your head you will be exposed to a new, outrageous scene.
In a way that brings to mind Hieronymus Bosch, the naughtiest of the Dutch masters, Feiler’s genius happens in the hidden and intricate details of his work. But where Bosch has the fruit, the pink flowers and the rosy butt cheeks to keep the spectacle beneath the surface cheerful, Feiler’s focus lies, as soon as you delve in, on destruction, masochism and decay. There is no hesitation at all here to reveal the absolute darkest of human dirt.
With a manner that at times points at intense societal criticism, but at others just intuitively explores the black depths of the human soul, Feiler shows to be a talented artist, who masters not only an explicit and idiosyncratic mind but also a variety of techniques. One could blame him for sometimes getting lost in the detail and losing sight of the overall picture – something that is more apparent in his paintings than in his pencil drawings and mixed media works – but then again, it’s this chaos that makes his pieces so terrifying, and exciting to explore.