Invocation – Martinela Dragičević

To scratch beneath the surface of the everyday and simple. Doing what you love, loving what you create. Almost ritualistic. For an artist, it is both the beginning and the end. To always pose new riddles of appearance and reality… Agreement with reality in the understanding of art in ancient times was synonymous with truth. One of the most influential concepts of ancient Greek aesthetics, mimesis, denoting the imitative and representational relationship of art to reality, was either understood as an illusion or as a sensory given. For Plato, all art was the shadow of a “shadow”, a senseless copying of something that already exists. Aristotle brought art closer to creation and discovery. Cognitively, the artist does not copy, he interprets with his state of mind. It is precisely one such state of mind that is meditatively focused on aesthetics that acts on the first, that maps emotions, experiences and dreams.

Dealing with a new approach to an old topic, Eugen Varzić creates his own reality with a completely fresh body of (self) portraits. A portrait (French portrait, from Latin protrahere – to bring to light, to disclose and from Old French pourtraire – to draw) as one of the oldest artistic motifs, is not just a transfer of physical characteristics, but also a note of an individual’s identity. In the manner of the American precisionists, Varzić experienced a qualitative upswing with a series of portraits often labeled as hyperrealism. Searching for his own development path, taking tradition as a starting point and advantage, he followed the work of foreign authors such as S. Velasco, A. Garcia Lopez and J. Butler. The rationality of form and shape, the legality of technique, in the intuitive need to create, Varzić perfected in Madrid at the seminar of Eloy Morales. The latest cycle of paintings expresses the artist’s need to establish new emotional levels with people from his immediate vicinity. A turning point in the author’s creativity occurred with the creation of a paradigmatic portrait called Nedjelja, a portrait of his wife Romana’s grandmother. The recent art cycle gets its significant beginning here – a trivial scene is deeply emotionally and connotatively elevated. Life, all the changes and constants of a time are written on the face of a nonna. Deposits that life carries. It is a work that exists, among other affirmed works of young artists, within the new realism on the domestic art scene. There are no limits, reality is multidimensional, constantly changing and completely fragmentary. Varzić’s portraiture is not aimed at satisfying the formal artistic nature of the work, his painting is a visual sensation that seeks curious views. By mirroring his own personality in the self-portrait 45, Eugen Varzić reflects on the loss of the center, personal or collective, on the refraction of reality that is no longer illusory only on the canvas. Self-awareness is not fractal as much as a reflection of one’s own character.

The facial expression is the main focus of a series of works in which each individual “I” is blamed like daylight, and the question of the identity and status of the individual remains unknown. Naturalistically painted faces are visual extensions of the close, family or friendly relationship between artist and model. The author’s fascination with the painting is not a set of allusive physiognomies in close-up, personalities line up before us, roles line up. The understanding and interdependence of self and the Other in these works is the trigger of stories, states and beliefs. A gallery of differences and similarities at the same time. Completely artistically honest, portraits are records of life. Records of faces that remember everything. Committed and energetic, the artist’s brush manipulates flatness, provokes illusion. With photography as a template, Varzić completely dematerializes the painting canvas. With tonal modeling, he emphasizes incarnate (the color of the human skin), playing with an unrestrained structural line in the representation of hair and different materials. With veristic precision, Varzić provokes a sensory provocation that takes place on the stage of the painter’s canvas. The narrative is hidden, dependent on the observer. About the one who is more than an observer. Which gets involved face to face, eye to eye.

There are no unique truths in art. Seeing the world is conditioned by our (lack of) knowledge, and imitating reality is only one symbolic form of representation. The madness of hyperproduction of images leads to the question of the aesthetics not only of the digital space but also of the aesthetics of contemporary art in general. Despite the fact that contemporary art is mostly oriented towards conceptual works, some authors are returning to the traditional understanding of art as a skill, they are returning to figurative art, paying homage to the old masters of past centuries. Varzić’s painting is not a representation of a new media image, his intention is to create a new, unique given. The constant of the creation process is the true constant of his life. Art is cause and effect. In those moments, thoughts and ideas are directed in a special way, they are directed to the uncertain sweetness of always new challenges.

Martinela Dragicevic