Suck-kissing remora and the sloughing of a skin
Robert Roests fascination with the relationship between paintings and digital media started when he clicked on an image of a Gerhard Richter painting on a slow computer. The “accidentally” created texture and layers of color in his expressionist work seemed to contain an underlying structure by the pixelated low resolution. The digital processes added a ‘fake’ structure.
In his second series, ‘suck-kissing remora and the sloughing of the skin’, he analyzed an abstract work by Gerhard Richter (Claudius, 1986) by using a digital picture of it in low quality. The characteristic structures of paint in Richter’s painting that have been created by a home-made squeegee, are reduced to a digitized grid of colored pixels. The abstract work of Richter involves a process of applying and removing paint, a hemming and hawing in which a game is played with the controllable and uncontrollable. Roest walks the opposite way. Nothing is left to chance, every part of the painting is calculated. The method that he uses in this series is more like manual printing instead of painting. The colors fan out in all directions, and are simultaneously held by a tight grid. The title refers slightly ironiccally to his artistic appreciation for the abstract work of Richter. A remora is a (mythical) fish that extract its food from its host, for example from a ship, where the host is neither burdened by, nor benefiting from this relationship.
In mythology, it was claimed that the fish could slow ships. The galley of the Roman emperor Caligula (He entered history also as robber and lover of art treasures) ran at full speed, manned by 400 rowers, when came to a standstill. His men dived into the water to see what the cause could be, and found a small remora to the ship ‘fixed-kissed’.