The Purposeful Mayonnaise

September 2, 2022: Sophie Cloherty (poetry), Christoph Eberle (painting)

Ending I

A bad heart looks different,
riddled with the mushrooms
and pockets of dark lemna
that often congeal in the corner
of a now vacant Zamość barn.

Everything is a variation of one deep color
—the wooden boards, the unblemished
ladders, and every sentiment was found
long ago in an atemporal corner.

Ending II

What I was going to say was the truth
becomes the wily ice storm or more rightly
becomes what a storm cannot do that bark
falling from the winter trees can, dry
steadily in the sun, like a grieving poem
that relies solely on the crescendo of verbs.
Remember how to move by watching television,
two strangers on a bus stop bench who lean
away from the center. Oh! Says a husband, feeling
his kneecaps: there is a fever in the body and a mustard in the heart!

Ending III

Honey flavored avalanching. The ability of pine trees to bow. A cavern glazed in lemon cold. And everything rushing round and forward like a water wheel in a river of cracked ice.

Tongues stuck in mouths. Compartmentalized heat. Watermarks left on armchairs. And the enigma of the upper story of a barn, there only to house the light of earlier moon rises.
All that might ever be— a rooster perched atop a snowed roof, yelling fire! at the sun.


Sophie Cloherty

I am an arts writer and aspiring poet located in Brooklyn, NY. When not writing, I'm either digging in dirt or singing atop a lighthouse.

Christoph Eberle

is a hyperrealist painter born in 1969, lives and works in Zurich. He graduated as an architect ETHZ, began painting in his early youth, was a self-employed graphic designer for over 20 years and lives now from painting.

Tradition and the present

Christoph Eberle's hyperrealistic oil paintings are created in the confrontation between tradition and the present. On the one hand, they continue the history of the old and newer masters such as Caravaggio, Jacques-Louis David, Caspar David Friedrich, Giovanni Segantini, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol or Franz Gertsch. These influences and especially Vermeer van Delft's almost photorealistic interpretation of reality meet in Eberle's work a sensitivity that has grown with the digital and high-resolution image reproduction possibilities.

Obsession with Detail

Christoph Eberle's pictures are constructed from photographs. However, they are not slavish copies of the photographic originals, but each represents a strong and independent pictorial idea. The hyperrealistic realisation is achieved with the finest and most precise brushstrokes. Such a meticulous approach limits the production to a few pictures per year.

Composing with light

Light as the medium of visual perception is the main element in Christoph Eberle's work. In his pictures, light pours over the objects, constitutes contours, creates sharpness and blurriness. Light reveals and conceals, directs the viewer's gaze.

 MIA, 2018, oil on canvas, 42×100 cm

Laboratory of seeing

Christoph Eberle's hyperrealism conveys a radically different approach to the image as such. At first glance, his paintings may seem photographic. But viewers soon understand that they have been led into a laboratory of seeing.

Where a photograph reproduces a moment from a fixed point of view and angle, Eberle's paintings question this point of view. Paradoxically, the calm that emanates from the images sets viewers in motion. They move closer and then again at a distance. Seeing becomes a playful experience. The image deconstructs the self-evidence of the supposedly real.

Works between still and still life

Christoph Eberle works in series. His works can be roughly divided into two categories: stills and still life (objects). In both, moments of everyday life are distilled and recomposed until they coagulate into latently unreal compositions. Their hyperrealistic representation is kept non-judgemental. Interpretation and evaluation take place through observation and remain subjective.

Christoph Eberle's object paintings are related to the genre of still life. Painted objects only relate to themselves, the surroundings at best provide the physical stage for the focus. As with classical still lifes, transience is thematised. In the series «Body», the depiction of dead or motionless objects coagulates into a «memento mori» made flesh. In the series «Food», the objects remain, as it were, in an artificially prolonged moment before the inevitable decay. They are as if frozen at the tipping point between food and compost, between functionality and uselessness.

Christoph Eberle's stills are representations of spaces, landscapes, everyday scenes. They are moments in which light and space create clarity and intensity. In contrast to film stills, an event is not condensed in the picture, but a past or a future is created. Something seems to have just begun or to be over - as if the opening credits of a film had just ended or as if its closing credits were about to begin. The static painting latently implies a camera movement to explore the seemingly empty spaces.

Christoph Eberle regularly participates in solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. He has a renowned international network of hyperrealist artists at his disposal. Together with Jacques Bodin, one of the main representatives of the European hyperrealism movement, he runs the website

Website:   Instagram: @christoph_eberle

FOYER (KABAKOW), 2020, oil on canvas, 42×100 cm

Using Format