In the spheres series faces appear on one half of mirror-polished spheres and look like mysterious moonfaces. The artist uses highly polished stainless steel spheres and paints a distorted face on one half. The other half of the sphere remains unpainted and functions as a powerful distorting mirror.
This series is inspired by a famous painting of the Italian Mannerism, Parmigianino’s Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror.

In the scupltural hidden treasure series, painting and mirror are amalgamated, transforming tangible paint into an ephemeral and virtual manifestation. As a result of the complex folds in the mirrored aluminium, most of the actual painting is only seen in its reflection.  More, the painting seems to take life and even become animated, because the part of the mirror producing the reflection is uneven. As soon as the beholder begins to explore its secrets by moving from side to side, the work unfolds a surprising array of subtly shifting reflections of the painted image.

In the garden of delights series flowers make a grand entrance in the staging of large panels. The curved background’s mirrored surface produces permanently shifting distorted reflections of the beholder and the space around the painting. The flower seems animated, because our eye and brain cannot process the perception of an image deriving from a solid object in which parts change dynamically and others remain stable.

Paintings on flat aluminum plates and paintings on canvas were the starting point of Herbst´s artistic career and still play an important role in his work with the series Maria Magdalena, Bella and others.


Take My Eyes 2014 / 2015

A Reflection on Vermeer 2015


By Carl Aigner

Archive of Views
The Portrait as Generative Performance in M.C. Herbst’s Painting

This portrait is charmingly beautiful….
Emanuel Schikaneder, libretto “The Magic Flute“

Virtually no other subject has been so consistently till the present day, a central point of artistic reflection, as the picture of the human being. And virtually no other subject has experienced as comprehensive pictorial transformations as the portrait. At latest since Andy Wahrhol’s principle of seriality, this genre maintains as “extended“ portrait the dimension of an “open artwork“ (Umberto Eco): the principle of the static is now definitely replaced by a dynamism rooted in Futurism, the portrait becomes a temporary momentum.

Tracing down the etymological roots of the term “portrait“, a highly contemporary perspective is revealed. In the 17th century, the term was taken up from the noun “portrait“ with the same meaning; this word again is rooted in the old French verb “po(u)rtraire“, which means something like “to design” and “to depict” and goes back to Latin with the original designation “to draw out of”, to “bring to light”. Only as late as in the 18th century, the term “portrait” obtains the more literal meaning “to produce a portrait“.


2015     WUNDERKAMMER, Várfok Galéria, Budapest, Hungary
Martijn van Wenen, Wanrooij Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014     take my eyes, Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, Canada
afterimage, Juan Ruiz Gallery, Miami, USA
2013     Der Schöne Schein; GPL contemporary, Vienna, Austria
Wahre Illusion; Fischerplatzgalerie, Ulm, Deutschland
Martin C. Herbst, Boloix Fine Arts, Ketchum/Idaho, USA
2012     strange days, Jacob Karpio Gallery, San José, Costa Rica
Vom Sein und Schein der Welt, Várfok Galéria, Budapest, Hungary
2011      metamorphosis, Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Precious, Mark Hachem Gallery, Paris, France
2010     Traces, Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, Canada
garden of delights ,Fischerplatzgalerie, Ulm, Germany
metamorphosen,T-40 Galerie, Düsseldorf, Germany
2009     most már dereng, Várfok Galéria, Budapest, Hungary
Ariodante, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
2007     Speculum-Spectaculum, MITO, Barcelona, Spain
Das Archiv der Blicke – Paintings on Aluminium, Fischerplatzgalerie, Ulm,German
The Presence of Memory/az emlékezet jelene, Várfok
Inspired (by), Leonhard Ruethmueller Contemporary
2006    Pontormo, Rudolf Budja Galerie / Artmosphere, Graz,
2005    Angelus und Pomona, Rudolf Budja Galerie / Angelus, Rudolf Budja Galerie / Artmosphere, Vienna,
2003    Faces – Surfaces, Artmosphere Vienna, Austria


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