Šille’s canvases bring an inflow of contemporary art with attributes of current visual language. A little amusing, and a little “blue-noise” dancing on the theme of a fake plastic paradise. Everything blooms in these neon gardens. Comic books, animations, advertising logos, computer games, web design and “ the zoom of consume” are all spilled out on the canvases. All this is compressed into one pictorial space, an explosive cocktail of colour.
There is something childishly innocent yet eerie in this world: shopping bags with bomber aircrafts, toys with cakes and little bombs in a burning house. In this world, there is something corrupt and murderous. Clean surfaces and rational constructions are often broken down by chaotic stains, flaming tongues of paint and expressive paint “pollutions”, taking place in the golden cage of painting – a picture of fascination and satiety, pleasure and alienation.
The settings of the paintings are imaginary constructed urban units, or their colourful fragments with a number of played-out micro situations. These Orwell-like modelled landscapes of the “beautiful new” world are gradually changed for melancholic pictures of polluted land and people. The painting is flanked by mini stories of characters, animals and their mutants, emerging in forms of plastic toys and figurines. They are rather lost and estranged, thrown onto the surface of a flawless world. Bureaucrats and their cadgers appear, offering their “howknow” (note: phonetically sounds like “shit” in Slovak) to the crowd of headless sheep. The big-eyed message “Suck my karma” is dedicated to them.
Šille often intently paints until late night. He becomes untraceable, and this is probably when moths and insects keep him company while he kills his childhood dreams. Therefore he brings a different view of the world, and epitomizes a unique “fiery” element in the landscape of our paining. Often, he asks direct, rather twisted questions like: “Can we brainwash our heads in such a way that they become clean?”.
Artist type: Erik Šille, born 1978, living in Bratislava, is an artist with teaching experience. Favourite technique: acrylic on canvas. Preferred format: 2 x 2 meters.
Generation: Representative of the youngest “Mc generation” (he grows up with McDonald’s, Macintosh and music MC), which directly reflects the contemporary world of the mass media, and translates it back to the canvas. Pupil of the 4th Studio of Ivan Csudai, he belongs to the strong generation of painters of the 21st century, and helps formulate the picture of Slovak painting of the last ten years.
Iconography keys: Šille composes his canvases with a critical and ironic undertone. He makes his own group of iconographic interpretations which include:
a) Challenging of the ideal plastic world, system of power, defenceless heroes covered in ketchup blood (Absolut style, 2004; One blood, 2005; My sweet home, Europe, 2007; Last Boating, 2009)
b) Threat and disruption of the system – flames, burning Bratislava Castle, nuclear explosions, airplanes, bombs, bombed blocks of houses (Without Effect, 2004; Massive, 2005; Empty, 2007), damaged structures ( Blue noise city, 2005; Silence, 2006; If there´s information here, we´ll find it, 2007; Birds fly to the hell, 2007).
c) Parasites and their metaphoric traps: monsters, hybrids, (I miss you a lot, 2007; If there´s oil here, we´ll find it, 2007; Hope, 2008; Where are you – mostly harmless, 2009; Mr. Pig, 2009; My demons…, 2010)
d) Vulnerability, disability of the system and key ideas: bandaged leg, blood, red cross, headless sheep (Flowers grow from my wounds, 2007; If there´s religion, we´ll find it, 2007)
e) Sweet consumerism – sweet and sour conspiracy: beach cocktails, shopping bags, supermarket buildings (Saflama beach, 2004; We also have our own supermarket, 2004; Monopublic, 2003; 2 times buy, 1 time measure, 2007; We are going to the market, 2008)
f) The troubled field of immigration and environment: dark colouring, chimneys, dead rivers, (CO2 positive, 2008; Amethyst deceivers, 2011; Lack of food, lack of thinking, 2011)
Media orientation: Hetero-medial often away from the canvas: graphic design (CD covers, t-shirt designs), book illustrations, 3D print, using drill to draw on Plexiglass, et cetra
Diagnostic conclusion: Healthy painting programme without significant symptoms of solidification, fully capable of artistic performance and further progress, so “still fresh and šillerik”.
Written by: Janka Zilcayova
Report completed by: Doctor B. Skid
Artwork by: Erik Šille
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