11th May 2006. CEKAO Gallery, Zagreb Back to the Future

The paintings of the young Zagreb artist Diana Simek can be, or even should be regarded on two basic levels:  the one of form and problem and the other of meaning and symbol. Namely, both levels are very important to comprehend and recognize the artist's poetical preferences which originate from firm and clearly shaped aesthetical, that is, ethic standards. In the form and problem sense, the authoress examines the possibilities and challenges raised in order to question the classical medium of painting in the times characterised by the co-existence of many, in a technological sense, more advanced forms of two-dimensional fine art expression. Computer softwares, which enable "painting" on a screen and printing of such artistic accomplishments either on paper or textile, are only the most recent ones. Before computers, there were photographs and film projections. The listed media have strongly influenced the changes in the perception of painting by giving it a new meaning and by conditioning quite a different creative logic.  As a continuation of such phenomena, Diana paints her re-interpretations of visual sensations that originated on her computer display.  To simplify, she uses the computer-generated scenes as the art motives of her acrylic paintings on canvas. In the past, painters made portraits, still lifes, or landscapes, but nowadays Diana paints abstract, computer generated shapes. When doing so, she pays, logically, the most attention to colours. Thus, in most of her paintings an interesting transformation is easily sensed of originally "self illuminating" colours from the computer screen onto her acrylic variants. But, Diana's paintings have also a pronounced component of meaning and symbol. This component is undoubtedly expressed in the very titles of her paintings, such as "Genetically modified animal", "Human clones", or "Ecological system". Her choice of colours and treatment of the form, however, induce impressively, with no verbal help, associations with the "contents" of her paintings. In an artistically clear way, the authoress sends unique universal messages about the perils and possible deviations in modern society, in which impressive scientific accomplishments are frequently wrongly directed and applied to extremely doubtful procedures and aims. Viewed in such a context, Diana's paintings surpass their attractive and pleasant formal decorative appearance by assuming far deeper and more complex meanings that we should also contemplate more deeply.

Vanja Babic

►  Exhibition  - Tuesday, January 29, 2008
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