GEKW Sadofsky & Trantina
Sadofsky & Trantina’s wide range of artwork is developing into an elaborate concept of aesthetics where the trivial and the subcultural becomes as influential on their working practice as the masterpieces of art history. Often sparked off by the banality of life, by politics, history or media, for these artists there is no subject which could not be turned into art. Sharpwitted self-irony is a large part of their strategy: borrowing from all aspects of culture ensure their own relevance within it. Sadofsky & Trantina’s works are a grandiose epitome of ego, and a megalomaniac approach to sculpture as well as paining. Their diverse methodology and previous experience gives them the advantage of multi-medial artists that are able to turn out unmatched artwork in any category.
Dan Trantina and Peter Sadofsky started to work together on collective projects in 2014. Like Gilbert and George, they coauthor their pieces and work simultaneously together not only in sculpture, but even on canvases. Their first collective piece was a monumental sculpture for the European Parliament in Brussels, which was unveiled by the EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics on 26 May 2015. The sculpture was then Exhibited by Museum Kampa in Prague and its founder and philanthropist Meda Mladek provided her estate on St. Thomas island for the artists as a winter residence. On their way to St. Thomas, the artists visited San Juan which turned out to be a key inspiration for their new painting series, created partially there and in their St. Thomas residence specifically for the DL Art Gallery. The unique amount of art in the visually striking streets of San Juan and the Caribbean colourful atmosphere gave them the initial direction for their most recent works. In San Juan they have also founded their new collective called GesamteEntarteteKunstWerke (Completely Degenerate Art Factory), named after an exhibition of modern art in Munich 1937, that was supposed to prove the works of the contemporary artists as degenerate.
GEKW is short for Sadofsky & Trantina’s new collaborative project – the so-called GesamteEntarteteKunstWerke. This new collective identity deliberately bearing a German name of a rather derogatory character translating as Manufacture of Completely Degenerate Art, is a symptomatic step in their ambiguous game of aesthetics and conceptual structures. The title is a direct take off from Hitler’s famous collective exhibition of modern artists in 1937, termed as degenerate (Entartete) and exhibited in an attempt to prove the then contemporary artists as bad artists or non-artists. The involved authors, like Braque or Kandinsky for example, had since become what Western cannon refers to as Great Masters. According to their own claim, the only way for Sadofsky & Trantina to master their art, is to turn completely degenerate. This strategy has typically self-mocking undertones as allegedly it is very hard work, since both authors perceive themselves to be otherwise “rather normal”.
Sadofsky and Trantina are presently living and working in Los Angeles, Prague and San Juan.