The work of Eberhard Havekost (1967–2019) explores the parallels between the systemic ideas of perfection and the modes of ideal image construction. Working from his own collection of photos and video footage, Havekost altered the original images on a computer: hues were subtly altered, forms imperceptibly stretched and skewed. These complications were then further translated through the process of painting. What Havekost presented wasn’t photographic precision, but rather transient moments of abstracted perception; the intentional ‘errors’ make the image appear more natural and visually pleasing. The attenuated distortion transforms an instance of banality into one of harmonious beauty.
Eberhard Havekost was born in 1967 in Dresden, Germany, the son of a sculptor and a taxidermist. As a student of the renowned Dresden Kreuzschule, he sang with the Kreuzchor and participated in international concert tours until his voice changed. After graduating in the mid-eighties, he completed his training as a stonemason. Before the fall of the wall, Havekost fled from East to West Germany via Budapest in 1989. From 1991 to 1996, he studied painting at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, finishing his time as a master student of Ralf Kerbach. In 1995, he had his first solo exhibition in the gallery Gebr. Lehmann in Dresden. In the mid-nineties, he received a scholarship to go to Frankfurt, where he immersed himself in the techno club scene. Later, he moved to Berlin, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In 2010, Havekost was appointed Professor of Painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. His work has been exhibited in major German and international institutions and is represented in numerous institutional and private collections, including the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Modern in London, UK.