Curator: Silvia Van Espen
Vernissage: 6 May 2014 6 pm
Never before have we attended at the birth of something so simple which makes such a powerful impact as this artist's work. He is someone who relatively quickly grasped what the world of contemporary art is all about. While still at Academy he began programmatically constructing his image, in both the primary and secondary senses of the word: adapting himself to the image of the painting, but also more importantly, adapting the painting to his own image. In this there's something superficial that reveals depth. There's a depth which hides beneath a veil of superficiality. Andrej Dúbravský's paintings are unmuted canvases soaking up fast painting; they absorb what they can on the surface while letting the rest flowing down. Like our existence, which floats over times. Like our non-prepared beings, which capture here and there something from the environment in which they live and move. Nothing of what our parents told us, nothing of what our teachers couched us in, nothing of what we shared in our first loves, is valid today. The time has changed, old rules are no longer applicable, tried-and-trusted approaches do not work, nothing can now be built on the original foundations. And yet we have grown up on them, our first outlook on the world is mirrored in them, we have drunk them in with our mother's milk. Just like the painter Andrej Dúbravský:
"Andrej Dubravský naturally identifies with Watte and his earlier, unhurriedly modern works, as also with the work of Boucher and Fragonard - great masters from the 18th century period of French painting, who chose the themes of their work by drawing on their endlessly erotic inspirations. Andrej Dúbravský is inspired precisely by such thoughts, and overall by art from European history. The root of his interest in "pleasant things" comes from the ages of so-called "hedonism", when precisely this sense of pleasure made it possible for writers like Marquis de Sade in France (in the period prior to the revolution) to present their unacceptable or even extremist opinions without fear. Hence if we look at the paintings of these old masters, we can find similar features in Dúbravský's paintings, too." (Sir Norman Rosenthal)
Andrej Dúbravský paints young boys, half-exposed, naked, with hares' ears or without them. Alone and in company. More or less erotic. Andrej Dúbravský paints cats, hares, mares, and insects of all varieties. He paints sunsets and moonrises. Andrej Dúbravský paints in spontaneous rapidity, apparently without a structured programme. After all, what that would be good for? He doesn't need it, given the fact that the world is moving ever faster: if we understand something, in an imperceptible moment it may be completely different; if we stick to something, in the fraction of an instant we may lose it. We're unable to go to the depth of things; circumstances do not allow us to reflect for overlong. And Andrej Dúbravský's paintings mirror for us precisely these circumstances. The names of his images are chosen randomly from the internet. They do not have the ambition of conveying the content of the work. They are, as it were, only the work's fellow-travellers in this event. The size of the paintings are not fixed beforehand: they adapt to the final result.
Andrej Dúbravský's painting truly is "final" only within inverted commas. It could be continued if the author wished to do so. But maybe that is just what he did not wish. And so here they are, accessible to the eyes of viewers. Kilos of them. Just as Andrej Dúbravský carries them with him; coming from New York, for example, he had to pay "excess baggage" on them. However, his paintings do not fit into the concept of "hand baggage", which you can easily bring with you. They have, after all, their weight. The weight of today's age, its circumstances and consequences.
Andrej Dúbravský (1987) lives in Bratislava and New York, he studied at Fine Art Academy in Bratislava.
His work was presented at several significant exhibitions, e.g. at VOLTA contemporary art fair in New York in 2012, at ARTEFIERA Bologna, Italy in 2014 and will be presented at important Young International Artists art fair in Paris in October 2014. His CV is available at www.zahoriangallery.com
The current "sunsets comments insects downloads" exhibition is a sort of farewell to Slovakia since next day after the vernissage he travels back to New York. It is the only exhibition of Andrej Dúbravský this year in Slovakia. Hence, a good reason to see it.