nisja | ozymantra
At this double exhibition two talented painters are presented at gallery Radar for the second time. Each one approaches the city from his/her own viewpoint. Nisja searches for the often hidden and not apparent spirituality that pervades life in an urban situation. Ozymantra dives in the crypts of personal experience of somebody who has ventured half his life close to the asphalt. Where Nisja elevates from the profane, Ozymantra looks for the biographical. Where in Nisjaís case the colors almost dissolve, Ozymantra confronts with intense outbursts. They meet each other in the streets and have a conversation about what it means to be human in the city, one of the greatest inventions of humanity.
His aim as always is finding the balance where paint becomes image and is still paint, but in these paintings Ozymantra let go the idea of an uniform style. He chooses eclectic from the wide range of possibilities accumulated during his 19 years of experience. Fantasy, photo and directly observed reality join into something thatís more. These different elements enter into an uneasy relationship. In this way he creates a new world in which everything has purposeful friction. Between these elaborated canvases others hang with a more simple slant. Itís like there are two artists, one brutally direct and the other mysterious and subtle, but a true clash is absent, for both approach the canvas with the same thoroughness. Through incidental repainting and lots of dripping he demolishes the image in the search for the freshness of improvisation. As subjects he uses divorce and confusion of the genders, mythical animal motives, helmets & masks, cityscapes of Amsterdam, India and other cities/places, the exaggerated superhero body.
In the paintings of the young Polish artist Nisja department stores, industries, block of flats, empty spaces, parking places and abandoned fields form fields of color as seen from a bird's-eye view. Some buildings are shown in architectural perspective, some as floor plans, with few seemingly random details. All are united by the magic of a silent equilibrium. This equilibrium seems precarious but at the same time it invites to meditation and contemplation of a world without time. Though this world is a reflection of places lived or seen by the artist and is not an ideal world, it's elements are not beautiful or eye-catching. The industrial agglomerations or the big dormitory quarters of post-socialistic cities seem rather symbols of a long gone or fake prosperity. In the paintings they have been transformed by the spirit of the artist through a process of purification, simplification and abstraction and put in a place that canít be found on any map, ascetic and silent (like some of the images by Stanley Kubrick). It is a place made of voids and solids, without movement, sound or time. But it also is not a post-nuclear landscape. Life is apparent but is standing still for a moment of contemplation. They are interior landscapes that come to life through a sophisticated use of colours, transparencies, delicate lines and simple shapes.