Reports

Boris Sirka (*1981, Snina) studied under professor Rudolf Sikora and Zbyněk Prokop in the studio of graphics and experimental art at the Faculty of Arts of the Technical University in Košice from 2000 till 2006, in 2003 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the studio of Michael Bielický.

He became known as a very young and promising artist in 2003 when he was nominated as a finalist of the Oskár Čepan award. At present he is active in Bratislava.

Boris Sirka 2012 – 2013 is different. He abandoned stylized figurative painting brought to perfection by caligraphic brushes, he gave up unavailing decorativeness and popular estheticism and his work also lost the grim humour, irony and sexual tension. Inspiration by anime, linearity or his light palette are no longer characteristic of his contemporary work. His work is naturally developing, its conception is well elaborated and mature. Therapy by visual shock has been replaced by a successive dose of suspense. It is not a Central-European horror or B movie but a Scandinavian cold and disturbing movie. The continual development of insecurity and potential anxiety is borrowed from his audio-visual project Bios (together with Jozef Tušan), in which he handles in a similar way audio features. Boris Sirka likes working with clearly defined series and does not return to them after completion. He is often being reproached for formal difference, however it is still possible to guess the author of the work. His contemporary work displayed at the exhibition entitled Some Time Ago clearly shows where he is heading. His palette has become much darker, he has reduced the size of his paintings and has really significantly freed his brushwork. The scenes are peacefully motionless, reminding the viewer of Romantic paintings of the 19th century. What is typical of his work is the fact that they do not refer to any specific time. The pivotal topic of some of his contemporary works is the motif of drapery. First of all he handles drapery as inanimate material which enwraps objects and figures. Sirka used drapery for the first time in his site-specific installation entitled Some time ago (2012), which he created for Manifest 9. He used drapery to revive long forgotten and disused objects. An important step in his career was the return to acrylic painting. He takes photographs of his spatial constructions, he deprives them of their „aura“ and paints them. His new paintings provoke our imagination and gain another dimension despite the fact that they are realistic painted copies of the original installations. The reinterpretation of his own work become direct models for his completely new paintings. Drapery, as a motif of pathos or esthetic diversity, is transferred into a new series of smaller-size acrylic paintings entitled Shibido (2012 – 2013). Shibidos are (in)animate figures, which he places in empty vacuum spaces and in difficult-to-recognize situations. They deny laws of gravity and reflect both peace and insecurity or fear of the unknown. In the second case he handles drapery as an object which lives its own life. Similarly as in Baroque art, in the painting Leviathan (2012) drapery takes over the role of a dynamic feature, it stops being an inanimate passive object but forms the main element of the composition of the painting. Movement is clearly visible due to the visual properties, but we primarily see a peaceful levitation, more than vigorous dynamics. This is more present in his latest work – a portrait diptych, which pays tribute to Zeena La Vey (at present known under the name Zeena Schreck), who became popular as the daughter of the Church of Satan. The character is completed by imperfect VHS esthetics of old video recordings. An important motif of the artist´s recent work are suggestions of refined architecture and interiors which enhance disturbing situations. I find his depicting of corners of buildings and corners of rooms as symbolic, since they have always served as places for punishing naughty children. Finally, he moves from interiors outdoors, where he records parts of desolate nature, which with its disquietening ripple, coldness and dusk forecasts through the hint of a (light) eruption the end of the imaginary peace and leaves us with an open end.

Michal Stolárik

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