Entitled “TurnTurnTurn,” the exhibition will include Diefenbach’s satirical paintings and collages, burlesque and clever work in which he toys with notions of popular culture and history. An opening reception will be held on September 18th from 6 PM to 8 PM.
Diefenbach’s lodestar for his work is Alfred E. Neuman, the gap-toothed mascot of Mad magazine. It is in this tradition of biting mockery that Diefenbach creates the paintings and collages where the legacies of age-old icons like Donald Duck, and new ones like Paris Hilton, are subverted. In the tradition of German Pop Art, with elements of Dadaism and Surrealism, Diefenbach’s work interrogates popular culture by finding meaning in the ways different elements of the zeitgeist intersect.
The collages in the exhibition are made of paper cutouts from newspapers, magazines, and comics, and acrylic paint, and some of the bigger pieces are made of fabric and photorealistic images on fabric. For these pieces, Diefenbach works in a spontaneous manner when placing images side by side. He aims for the surprise effect in which old meanings enter a dialogue and new meanings are created. Like German Pop Artists Martin Kippenberger and Sigmar Polke, Diefenbach mischievous and polemic work manages to disarm, but always with a wink.