Aleksander Velišček, Paintings 2020 – 2022 |
14. 04. 2022 – 15. 07. 2022 |
Opening: Thursday 14. 4. 2022 at 18:00
THIS IS NOT WHAT I SEE!
Aleksander Velišček is the artist of the middle generation from Primorska region. In addition to abstract episodes, the central position in his diverse opus is held by the human figure. It marked his artistic impression during his studies and later in the Jugonostalgija (2010), Cleveland Steamrole, (2012), and Menschen (2013) series; however, he achieved true authorial recognition with a series of paintings entitled Gullivers (2014/2015). Supplemented with new works, this was also Velišček’s first independent exhibition in Slovenia and was hosted by Galerija Loža in Koper in 2017
Through his works, be it paintings, installations, or performances, Velišček constantly incites us to think critically. Hence it is no surprise that he used the time of the pandemic, too, for a deep deliberation about himself and his fellow human being as well as the role of visual art and the artist in contemporary society.
As for most, in isolation his real world spilled into the virtual dimension: virtual communications and digital images he discovers online become a new reality and part of his everyday. A lull, a halt, a deliberation. This vacuum is also a pause when we can look inside ourselves so that we can then take a step further. It is then that Velišček’s “pandemic tale” started, one which spontaneously develops in different series and continues until today. As many times before, he is inspired by names from the world of painting. His initial feelings in this two-year isolation are depicted in the series of Renoir still lifes. It appears that genre paintings best reflect the personal experience of the atmosphere at that time: the awareness of the fullness of life and the joy of living in the everyday. Verbal interventions in the form of social media hashtags present paintings with a new, current dimension.
What followed was a series of oil Rembrandt portraits. “The portraits express the depth of feelings and offer an insight into the human interior. In this series, figures are always alone. Even in Manet’s painting The Luncheon on the Grass that I chose for the invitation, I get the feeling that there is no real dialogue between them,” says Velišček who boldly reinterprets the great master.
Considering the current, frequently pejorative view of it, the depiction of the traditional portrait motif is a very daring decision on the part of the artist. It is the most legitimate and understandable in the third, the most extensive series, which is much more playful and provocative than the previous ones. The portraits are colourful, very diverse in artistic style and the choice of painters he takes inspiration from. The inscription, which is a part of the painting field, misleads us and makes the interpretation of painted images and massages more difficult. The written names are recognizable and suggestive but mislead in their relation to the figure fusing the art work in an original, occasionally bizarre hybrid. It is here that Velišček found his challenge; he confuses us with the visual language and subtly dares us to keep solving the artistic rebus, while the images manipulate us. The relationship between perception and conception, between emotion and thought, the visible and invisible, and, above all, between known and unknown becomes relevant.
“This is not what I see!” the first visitor to the exhibition commented.
Aleksander Velišček (Šempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia, 1982) finished his painting studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Since 2009, he has primarily exhibited his works at numerous group shows abroad, including in the A plus A Gallery in Venice, where he held his first independent exhibition in 2015. He has created in art residences in Venice (Bevilacqua la Masa Foundation), Belgrade, and Paris (Cité Internationale des Arts). In 2011, he received the Mariuccio Paracchi Testori Award (Casa Testori Society, Novate Milanese). His Gullivers exhibition was his first independent presentation at the Piran Coastal Galleries (Galerija Loža Koper, 2017). He lives and works in Milan and Vipolže (Goriška brda, Slovenia).