Michael Bauer offers deformity as a platform for unequivocal beauty. In Pol 4 (Senor Mousse), Bauer uses the qualities of abstract painting as a deviation of representational portraiture, allowing the media to replicate the characteristics of physical matter. Traces of recognisable features, such as eyes and hands give uneasy relation to celiac smears, scabby encrustations, and fluid brush marks, each rendered with a pristine delicacy. Offset by harlequin ornamentation and elegant touches of primavera colour, Bauer’s reductive palette creates an antiquarian reverence, setting his absurd conception as an icon of protracted contemplation.

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