Romanian art and Romanian culture in general tend to be rather underrated in the Czech Republic. This is, however, truly unjustified.
Artworks by the artists from the neighbouring post-communist countries are rather eloquent and might be – in more than one aspect – rather familiar to the Czech audience. “There is certain similarity between artists from different post-communist countries. It stems from their shared experience of childhood spent under a totalitarian regime, without the possibility of travel and with poor economic background,” says the gallerist Jiri Svestka. According to him, “as opposed to their Western fellows, they focus more on the intensity of their experience and work.”
After the revolution in Romania (1989), Dan Perjovschi became part of the so called first wave of avant-garde, which, until then, used to be undesirable. His drawings and cartoon comments of the current political, cultural and social situation in his country deliver entertainment to people and uneasiness to the politicians. In Romania, he is considered to be the sharpest political satirist. Being a journalist, he also criticises the deep deterioration of decent journalism and the general gutter market. Perjovschi lives and creates in Bucharest and attends to the current development in his home country and all over the world in his work.
According to Perjovschi, there were three major milestones which affected his work: the political turmoil of 1989, freedom of speech and, last but not least, unobstructed access to the international art world. “It was not only the sudden change. It was a slow process, but it all started with the freedom of speech,” says Perjovschi on events, which fundamentally influenced his contemporary works. He combines his drawings with graffiti, yet he approaches the drawing as an independent object, performance and installation.
Often, Perjovschi draws directly onto the walls and windows of the galleries he exhibits in. The Prague exhibition is prepared in the same way. “I will arrive, look around a draw, depending on what exactly will currently be happening in Prague, Czech Republic or Europe,” says Perjovschi on the preparation for the exhibition. He needs to work fast and directly and be mobile while doing it. He finds his inspiration in the daily lives of people, in their dialogues, fashion… He pays heed to the political events, too. He finds the most of the stimuli from the news and news comments. Once the exhibition is over, his drawings are irretrievably discharged. This is one of the reasons for each of his exhibitions being so unique. The global importance and uniqueness of Perjovschi’s work is proven by this year’s exhibition at the Museum of Moder Art in New York (MoMA), which is the highest possible acknowledgement for any artist.
Jiri Svestka calls Perjovschi “the elder bard of the young Romanian scene, who has made it into the Western structures. Perjovschi belongs in the category of established artists (…) and it is an honour for us to exhibit him,” says Svestka. “His art is the join between the elder and the young generations, it is simple, yet it carries intelligence and humour, it is legible in all cultural casts. Perjovschi’s means of expressing himself is quite exceptional worldwide and I do not know another author like him.”