VERNISSAGE : THURSDAY, 27 APRIL 2023, 7 – 9 PM | Artists will be present
EXHIBITION DURATION: 27 APRIL – 06 JUNE
LOCATION: HAZE GALLERY, Bulowstrasse 11, 10783 Berlin
We’re all used to posting holiday photos on Instagram – bright, catchy, and filled with sunny smiles. Most of us associate the word ‚holiday‘ with something pleasant and relaxing. But is it always like that? Modern culture and cliché thinking dictate strict rules for our social media presence and, by obeying them, we create an illusory reality in which there is only the appearance of holidays and widespread success. Being unsuccessful, and unhappy is not accepted, uncomfortable for those around us, and destructive to the myth of a happy life cultivated by the consumer society.
In „Strange Holidays“, three authors – Irina Drozd, Ivan Plusch, and Dmitry Shorin – offer the viewer their own interpretations of what a holiday can look like outside of glossy, hollowed-out photographs. All three authors have their own unique and recognizable artistic language, but what they have in common is the love for combining hyper-realistic elements with surrealistic details, foreign creatures, and perspectives that would not be possible in real life. All the authors use bright colors, images, sharp and contrasting light, and shade in their works.
In Irina Drozd’s works, we see landscapes full of warm sunlight, and smiling characters, but a subtle sense of unease instantly permeates the viewer. Next to the blond children there are characters that shouldn’t be here – fantastic creatures and strange details, painted in great detail, are frighteningly realistic. The author works, as in many of his other picturesque canvases, with the theme of fears. Using metaphorical images and archetypes which, despite their strange and inexplicable essence, have a rather unambiguous perception of something sinister, Irena leaves space for the viewer to reflect on what they represent for him personally and what kind of nightmare a vacation on the beach can turn into.
Ivan Plusch as well as Irina turn to the theme of fear, but in his works it is more a fear that a holiday threatens to become eternal. The artist’s wish for a good holiday doesn’t inspire optimism and quite the contrary – it pours a wave of coldness over the viewer. The sultry sky and verdant palm trees dissolve beneath a surrealistic sky that drips with smudges reminiscent of corrosive, destructive acid and leaves nothing in its path. The allegorical image of the elements, to which we always long for when we go on holiday, is rediscovered in Ivan’s work. We are reminded that nature is not only beauty, mountains, sun and sea; it is also the most destructive force within the power of our existence.
Dmitry Shorin, unlike the other two artists, has less recourse to surrealist detail and works with the viewer’s attention through unexpected angles and perspective. In his canvases, the space in which the characters exist is distorted, subject to the author’s intention, and lives according to different laws than those we are accustomed to in real life. Dmitry’s paintings are also full of light and bright colour accents, which gives them a sense of liveliness, lightness and joyful mood, but not the kind we are used to seeing in social networks, but an ironic, prickly and thought-provoking one.