About the author:
Academic graphic artist Pavel Pop was born on December 1, 1948 in Stara Pazova. In the framework of his artistic creation, he develops a concept, which expert criticism called imaginative realism. He graduated in graphics at the College of Fine Arts in Bratislava in 1975. He became a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Vojvodina (ULUV) in 1977. As a Bratislava student of the outstanding artists Albin Brunovski and Vincent Hložnik, he built an artistic poetics, which is dominant within the framework of contemporary graphic creativity in Slovakia.
Pavel Pop fills his free graphic sheets made in gravure printing (most often with etching) with the virtuoso drawing handwriting of the old masters, which he sovereignly rules and creates timeless, oneiric visions placed in an exciting, harmonically swirling surreal space of the picture.
Pop’s graphic sheets have a contemporary, but at the same time traditionalist – which means – postmodern accent, we can recognize in them the stylistic characteristics of mannerism, elements of neo-adrealism, but it seems to us that it is basically a romanticizing concept, in which imagination is the most important. In addition, the author’s knowledge of other art-historical directions is evident. For example, on the graphic sheets with exuberant form-forming lines, we perceive baroque pathos, and on some faces, a Renaissance tone.
Pavle Pop’s graphic creativity does not move away from figurative representation. The dominant motif of his free graphic sheets is a female nude, or a female figure, most often presented fragmentarily. We can understand the presence of women in Pop’s graphics in the light of traditional symbolism. His contemporary, female figures have a certain mythical, primordial mysterious expression. Therefore, women – the central motif of Pop’s creativity – should be viewed in the sense of the eternally feminine, in the sense of the feminine cosmic principle, towards which our longing for the transcendent is directed.
A woman is a symbol of instinctive, irrational forces and that is precisely why, according to some thinkers, she is closer to the soul of the world and the primordial forces of the cosmos. Female beauty in Popo’s graphics grows on the primal fertility of a woman, which means that the erotic content of Popo’s graphic sheets should be understood in that primal sense.
Therefore, on the graphic sheets of Pavel Pop, fragments of precisely defined, plastically modeled forms of women, whose beauty is to the taste of long past times, are most often born from a virtuoso playful line. This fact confirms the statement that Pavel Pop often returns to the past in his work, taking over quotes from the history of art at the level of content or expression in the spirit of postmodern tendencies, so that he takes them over and innovatively adapts them to his graphic compositions.
Pavel Pop introduces innovations in the composition of his graphic sheets. Art narration of the same content and art-graphic character is explained separately in squares or rectangles, which are in mutual relations. Here, in fact, it is about the multiplication of possibilities, the simultaneous presentation of several time-space levels of action. The use of basic geometric shapes, such as a circle – a sign of eternity and heaven, a triangle – a sign representing the sphere of the spirit and a square – a sign of the earth and nature, should be understood as a supplementary component of hidden meanings and allegorical-associative relations of the presented.
His virtuoso drawing handwriting is fully expressed in his series of shower drawings inspired by and named after the prints of Francisco de Goya – Desastres de la guerra.
Goya’s fantastic, but above all humanist anti-war artistic expressions, as a theme and challenge, received a new contemporary reinterpretation and reshaping in the spirit of Pop’s poetics of imaginative realism in the 17th drawing.
Pop’s exceptional drawing skills allow him to richly represent his inner world. As a rule, the aestheticized restlessness of his graphic sheets produces a harmonious beauty and a mysterious harmony of the figurative with the non-figural and the real with the unreal.
Pavlo Pop’s paintings seem to have been created as a consequence of the 20th century – the era of atomic smashing. These are images of explosion and disintegration, so they correspond extremely well with the spirit of the time in which they were created. Pavlo Pop’s large canvases are usually covered with neutral or cold colors of the background of the picture, on which, thanks to the use of intense vivid colors, a turbulent process of decay or birth takes place in the middle of the picture. (Birth and dissolution in their essence and in their visual expression are in fact very close). Pavel Pop’s paintings were created with a wide dynamic movement of the brush with numerous soft tones of individual colors, and within the framework of artistic classification they belong to the rich tradition of abstract expressionism. Exceptions are only certain pictures, in which a figure appears, or examples from Pop’s “classic” portraiture.
Pavel Pop – a graphic artist with a virtuoso drawing style, is therefore also an exceptional painter.
Most recently – during 2008 – Pavel Pop devoted himself to the cycle of drawings-portraits, dedicated to the world’s greatest visual artists and their most famous works of art.
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