Johan Deckmann - "Manuals" Exhibition at the Arsham/Fieg Gallery


Join us for the opening reception on Tuesday, January, 7th at 8 PM EST at the Arsham/Fieg Gallery in Kith Soho.

Copenhagen-based Artist, Psychotherapist, and Author, Johan Deckmann produces work that delves into the complexities of life, through amusing and wittily fabricated book titles that are painted onto fictional self-help books. Deckmann’s art presents us with a hybrid between paintings, poetry, and psychology. Recognizing the immense capability of language in both therapy and art, Deckmann’s work forces the viewer to self-reflect. “I use the strengths from both of my fields, both creatively and intellectually to create a synergy that I would not otherwise be able to develop. Be aware of this duality within yourself.”

Johan Deckmann's psychological background and practice is fundamental and central to his work, inspiring and providing the content, and furthermore, serving as a steady reminder of personal responsibility. A remarkable feature of Deckmann‘s work is the relatability of the book titles, regardless of gender, cultural background or age. Rather than solely presenting the sinister aspects, his work is made playful by adopting language that you may find on an instruction kit. Deckmann argues that for him, “humor is an essential characteristic if you want to stay, not only sane but also happy. Humor is somehow the instrument of the light-hearted.” The connection between his work, psychology, and his life is rational and thought out. The works reflect his perception of life with all its beauty, humor, fear, meaning and lack of meaning, but most importantly, he showcases ruthless honesty.

Though many of his works are humorous, Deckmann is still able to highlight and draw attention to the irony and tragic nature of our daily lives and what we often do to ourselves. These works aim to entertain yet also bring awareness and stimulate the imagination of the viewer. "The right words can be like good medicine. I want my works to be like mirrors. When you look at them you might not like what you see, but like in a mirror, you now get the awareness and the chance to change something. Like little personal reminders disguised as art".

As a psychotherapist Deckmann's main focus is on the ability to change people’s way of thinking for the better. "Every happiness, every misery, every good and bad deed on earth is a result of a thought. I can’t imagine a work area more important than this. That’s what drives me and I use art as my platform rather than my practice because I find that people are more receptive and less judging in a gallery than in a therapeutic session". Deckmann believes in the simple power and beauty of words, that they can cut through your layers just as well as figurative, sculptural, abstract and any other kind of art. He aims for the heart of his viewers and their ability to reason over their habits and choices that he believes determine their future. "I think that the art world is a perfect place to create awareness and awareness just might lead to a better wellbeing. Every day I meet people who blame bad habits when there are only bad decisions. We must reconsider the glasses that we have been given by our parents and by society, because we perceive the world and ourselves through these glasses. Make sure to see clearly".

The exhibition will be open from January 7th - February 7th.

For more information on the pieces on exhibit, please email Arsham/Fieg Gallery here