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Artist: Szabó András

Curator: Mirela Rădulescu

22.02.2007 – 22.03.2007

Opening: 22.02.2007 at 07:00 pm

“The theme which always fascinated me is connected to the role and the situation of the man in the present society, society that I consider as being hyperrealist”.

Szabó András, artist

Hyperrealism, as an artistic trend is connected from the technical point of view with the way Szabó András works, his starting point for his pieces being edited digital photos. The final outcome is very much alike with the hyperrealist art works of the ’60. Technically the pieces are realized by scratching a white material painted in black having thus a graphic effect, close to photography.

The bizarre atmosphere, almost unreal of the works is animated through the presence of the looker. These images are cut out from the real life, most of them being portraits of the artist’s friends or even self-portraits and they offer not only a series of visual information but they carry psychological meanings. More then that, the images are the core of a narration, the introduction and the final being mentally constructed by the viewer, he/she interacts with the pieces thus constructing his/hers personal/own “movie”.

As a comparison the works of Szabó András mirror statically the virtual world of the computer games. “Entering the game, the viewer/ the image consumer reaches another world, the virtual one”. But the difference is that within the computer games one is invited to participate in a race/contest and the works of the artist invite one to take part in a game of mind because of the existence of strong contrasts between the elements that stress the issues of actual society. This is the case of the work with the two affronted geishas presented on a virtual background whom represent consumable persons in a consumer’s society. “These bizarre situations, where my personages appear, stand for the existence of two worlds in which we live consciously: the real world and the virtual world.”

The media produces these types of characters so much familiar to us and erases subtly the border between reality and virtual and the virtual world becomes an escape gate towards something new. Szabó András tries to pin down the getaway wish in a space which not for long was opened to the information flow from the New World: “and here I am referring to the TV through which we perceive a new way of living”, a new type “media propagated culture”. The artist sees the confrontation between the traditions, the socialist roots and the afflux of the New World as a battle scene. And the super-hero of the new World has many faces like Hulk or Spider Man, their features being based on the ones of the heroes from the antique mythology. The artist has chosen to pose as a Super Hero, the work stressing the contrast between the qualities/features of a Super Hero and the space he is in: an old kitchen from Eastern Europe. And, logically the question over what is the Super Hero doing there is raised. The answer… is not to be found yet.

Another piece which raises the same question is the one where the Super Hero is a woman. She is dressed with a knitted skirt, similar to a table cloth done by the artist’s grandma and she floats surrounded by immense/humongous cauliflower. “These cauliflowers are cut” and they are very familiar to us, our grandmas pickling cauliflowers every autumn. “The table cloth and the pickled cauliflower are elements belonging to a world that existed in Eastern Europe and they stand for this region’s traditions contrasting strongly with the Superman movement of the girl.”

The nylon costume means for the artist the transformation of the human body in a cyber-body. “This is not a new situation (there are hearing aids, glasses, all kinds of prosthesis, etc) and the human body has a lot of non organic implants. It is not hard to imagine the fact that maybe, at some point everything which is organic will be replaced with artificial devices. The human tendency of reaching immortality is the main feature of the human nature. “Within the works of the artist the artificial/the new “reality” is represented by the nylon which wraps up slowly, slowly the bodies of the characters and every viewer that shall step to see these works shall enter a world of Cyber-stars!

Curator: Mirela Rădulescu

Press release – Cyberstar, Szabo Andras