Danish artist and psychotherapist Johan Deckmann says that therapy can happen anytime, anyplace. It’s simply “an interaction between a person and something else that makes sense.” Fortunately for viewers, his fake self-help publications perfectly fit the bill.
Deckmann uses books as his canvasses, breathing new life into long-forgotten tomes by painting invented titles on their covers, often accompanied by illustrative silhouette figures. Candid, witty and strikingly accessible, Deckmann’s creations centre on everyday dilemmas. Silent Treatment, for example, recently acquired by Colección SOLO, combines inventive wordplay with pared down cover illustration to delightful effect. Appropriated books are not Deckmann’s only media, however: The Voices in my Head, also part of Colección SOLO, uses vinyl record packaging to deliver its visual pun.
A believer in the cathartic power of words, Deckmann traces his interest in writing on found objects to his work as a psychotherapist, and his experience as a composer and lyricist. As the artist explains,“my works simply reflect my perception of life with all its beauty, humour, fear, meaning and lack of meaning, hopes, imagination, truth and honesty.” Art, therapy and a healthy dose of fun; a valuable new addition to Colección SOLO.