As we walk through the gallery and confront Eugen Varzić’s artworks, we become witnesses to a story of experience. The artist has shaped human states by presenting reflections of individuals and situations in his personal perception. Just like the author, the characters can surprise, move, and inspire us. They portray qualities that we ourselves possess. It is evident that the artist experienced the motifs as a sensitive individual, whether he saw them with his eyes or felt them within. The positive impression these works evoke is mixed with meaningful messages. The artist achieves this inventively at the intersection of reality and allegory. This is not merely an exhibition of portraits or figures of specific people. What we have before us is a collection of states.
The creator of plots, the painter, takes the body as a matrix. In all the works, we discover expressions based on the human body. Because the body is a fundamental given. It encompasses pleasure, suffering, thoughts, emotions, illness, and death. The body must endure biological and social functions. It is where we are gathered as individuals. However, the body is not an organically controlled machine; rather, the concept of identity is ever-changing and reflects doubts, possibilities, and assumptions. The “self” appears as a being subject to change, with varying orientations or interests. The concept of a lasting individuality has given way to a series of self-perceptions that individuals may adopt for a time, only to discard them later.
This selection from Eugen Varzić’s artistic opus largely touches on questions of identity. The artist seems to suggest that the body carries a state and is, at the same time, vulnerable and subject to changes. The individuals he portrays are placed in significant positions. These are often clever reflections, regardless of whether they refer to historical themes or modernity. The relationship or attitude of the individual is manifested through bodily gestures. As we move from one work to another, we discover imaginative and diversely treated personalities. The author’s approach takes us into the surreal.
Most of the works are large-format acrylic paintings on canvas. The author always separates the background from the shapes in the foreground. Sometimes, the backgrounds are clear, while other times, they are blurred. The author rarely defines the environment. It seems that the characters are placed in Arcadian spaces, as in a metaphysical mirror. This intensifies the experience and gives the works a timeless impression. The ambiguity of the concept of “moment” and its scope, meaning, and definition can be interpreted differently. The moment can be conventionally interpreted as a second, a day, a year, but it can also be personalized and reduced to the experience of individual knowledge.
All the works carry a strong narrative charge. The artist is devoted to the observer. Stories are presented within the format and sometimes continue onto diptychs. The selected works connect the idea of representing human states and, in terms of design, two technologically significant motives. Eugen Varzić integrates the legacy of new media, photography, film, and virtual appearances. This is evident in certain compositions as a whole and in details. The fascination with technique is reflected in the idea of shaping interactivity. Besides the symbolic and visual repertoire, additional information is available through QR codes. As a contemporary artist, as Walter Benjamin says, “…acts in the age of technical possibilities of reproduction…” Varzić views the code as a visual element and sometimes incorporates it as a significant part of the compositional harmony. The introduction of the QR code can be experienced by the observer in two ways. One is that this detail of contemporary control is inserted into everything, even into the field of the painting. The other way is the communication with the artwork through a device that decodes the code.
Another type of a kind of code sign is represented by parts of the paintings where the author places a geometrized detail derived from the shape or part of the motif. The crystalline representation of light refraction conveys the idea of illusion. This problematization of the medium of the painting leads us to the idea of fractals. It warns us of the illusion of perceiving reality. The artist provokes the viewer, who must reinterpret the portion of the painting that the author decided to geometrize. After all, reality is deceptive both in perception and interpretation. Our senses are modest, despite humanity boasting intelligence greater than that of dogs or monkeys.
The artist’s problematization of the recent historical moment is evidenced by the presence of Vendetta masks (Anonymous). We witness how, due to globalization, borders are becoming more closed. Despite faster cars and airplanes, people are condemned to solitude. Instead of love, forgiveness, and emotions, rules, laws, and norms of behavior are offered. With the development of democracy, rights are shrinking. This exhibition takes place in the interval between the period of mature capitalism and its collapse. Established ways of viewing the world are collapsing one after another. The idea of accumulating material goods that guarantee comfort, which characterizes Western social structures and religions, is losing its breath. The banking-administrative, socially insensitive system runs wild. Meanwhile, physicists/philosophers redefine reality with quantum mechanics, fractals, and bosons. They change perception and discard conventional behaviors. Dependencies in which we once believed are melting away. The universe no longer functions as Newton’s machine but as fields of energy that appear in various forms. Human beings, individuals, are no longer chemical reactions but energy charges. The interconnectedness of everything also conditions us.
Analyzing situations, we realize that small worlds of untouchable lives unfold before us. Although we can read social and cultural comments in the works, the artist remains introspective. There is a certain degree of empathy expressed with the indicated characters. We wonder when, where, and how it happened, as these works comment without defining a stance. They gossip. The shaped becomes a scene for confrontation. In this case, there are two levels of confrontation: the individual who recognizes themselves and the observer who recognizes that individual. The exhibited selection or its parts become ideograms. The works lead us from the concept of the seen/experienced to an interpretation that evokes the idea of myth. This is in line with the spirit of the times: myths quickly arise and quickly fade away.
Human figures, self-assured and benevolent, are the inhabitants of this exhibition. In all the works, motifs are offered for recognition. All the characters bear characteristics of specific personal states, with the idea of prosaic or more sophisticated rituals. Here, we find excitement, intellectual questioning of security, contemplation, and self-assurance. The actors of these activities are not idealized beings but rather our neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and even the artist’s relatives. The performers may not be entirely happy, but they are convinced of their life roles. This self-assurance is the initiator of the artist’s reaction: recording the characteristic moment. Eugen Varzić records situations that have lost reality. He is aware that a new path, the path of vision, now leads to them. This vision is a new reality, offered to the observer. The observer can personally populate this new reality: their memories, their feelings, their states.
Eugen Borkovsky, III. 2014.