THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF THE WORLD
6.5. – 20.5.2011.
A Dreamer's Odyssey
Iconicity of our time gives a positive momentum to the representational quality of the painter’s medium, in which the painter Sebastijan Dračić positioned himself early on and occupying a piece of a fertile ground started unwrapping his visual philosophy. Consistently, armed with a clearly expressed artistic identity, he shapes the chapters of his artistic vision which is characterized by rounded painting cycles of specific visual, expressive and semantic fullness and identifiability. In preceding chapters he manifested an affinity towards analyzing human emotions, personalized visions of human space and time, and with the new exhibition he again shows sensibility towards the pulse of today, establishing a direct and stimulating relation with it (which is the basis of the sustainability of the medium itself.)
Behind the suggestive title “The beginning and the end of the world” extends the infinity of forest regions, seven artistic versions of nocturnal forested landscape.
The impression of an unlimited expansion of space, the monotony of a dense forest overarched by a night sky, is shown from a different vantage point in every painting. To the elaborately detailed evergreen leaves and branches specific indications of human life have been added, like the inexplicably straight path carved through the wilderness of the forest, or the forgotten “Unité d'Habitation” building eaten by the dense trees, while on one of the paintings a human figure is present in all its “littleness”, within the magnificence of nature.
Dračić’s spaces do not evoke real place, on the contrary, melding real and imaginary segments intensifies an impression of a dreamlike atmosphere which draws the viewer into intense, often amazing spaces of some nameless presence, something that eludes the sight, but not the feelings. There are number of possible referential foundations on which these imaginary landscapes can rest. And the very title of the cycle points to one - The beginning and the end of the world. The forest of monumental proportions reflects its life in the singularity of each tree, and vice versa. Just as a tree cannot grow if its roots are not well embedded in the soil, a man cannot exist separately from the environment that maintains and shapes that existence. It is a vision of an individual and the universal experience of life, and the worlds in which they interweave. The ambivalence and vague foreboding emitted by Dračić’s paintings seem to come from the awakening of a deeply imprinted collective memory of the cyclicality of time – are these the scenes from a lived past or can glimpses of an uncertain future be caught in them? It is an attempt to dive beyond the physical appearance, and where the line between reality and illusion makes the magical beauty of the worlds.
With the desire to visually dissect collective human emotions and with connections to the traditional artistic heritage, Dračić seeks to dissolve the frame of uniqueness of his own historical context and add to the appearance of his work a more long- lived and universal note than most authors of his generation. However, besides the actuality and engagement of his own stylistic orientation, Sebastijan Dračić is also interested in the suppleness of the canvas, an awareness of the painting as a physical object and insistence on the immanent laws of the medium. The melancholy and contemplativity which excude from his dreamy Odyssey, reflects the painter’s personal attitude towards the all permeating indifference of today’s civilization. In this lyrical world operate a developmental logic and a vibrant artistic movement that sets itself ever increasing challenges, to which it responds with passion, in an already recognizable cultivated and seductive handwriting.
Martina Marić, “The beginning and the end of the world”, Marisall Gallery, 2011