Jay Rechsteiner


“Bad Paintings” (a video presentation)

Selected works from Jay Rerchsteiner’s series “Bad Paintings”. Inspired by global journalistic and historical events, these bad paintings give light to a darker side of our world was projected on repeat on Saturday the 11th of January between 14:00 and 18:00

BAD PAINTING is a series of paintings that I categorize as Bad Realism which is work that is not only bad in terms of style & craftsmanship but most importantly in terms of content. The badly executed paintings represent the underlying bad reality of the actions depicted, i.e. the paintings are as bad as the world they depict. The paintings are based on true events. The work challenges the Western sense of beauty, perfectionism and fear of failure. I personally find making this work very liberating as I am not restricted in terms of how well I paint. Rooms are distorted, bodies are out of proportion, shadows fall into the wrong direction etc.


I am not exactly sure what sort of artist I am. I like working with different media such as painting, drawing, installation, film, sculpture and performance. However, my main interest lies in painting. I like the immediacy of this medium and the way it allows me to explore a highly complex world of systems, rules, conventions and modes of living.

I often break free from painting in order to work/experiment with other media. However, after a relatively short period I usually return with a new vigour to painting. Since 2013 I have been working on a specific painting series titled Bad Painting. Working on Bad Painting is what painting is all about to me: exploration of a theme, a subject and the general development of painting as a process and a medium. It is not only painterly but also political which is very important to me. Art has to be political to me (although everything is political to a certain degree).

When it comes to personal work, i.e. work that processes my past or my emotions, then I usually use film, installation or performance. These media are different from painting to me. I find them much more personal. They allow me to go deeper inside myself and ‘digest’ problems, myself and help me understand my function within the world.

In Situ photo by Emmanuel Barrouyer