I'm looking at you
What distinguishes this year's collection from that of three years ago?
First and foremost, there has been a change in the perspective from which artists view the contemporary individual. Undoubtedly, the most numerous group of paintings are those focused on the human figure; abstraction is fading away.
It seems to me that this is the result of the increasingly rapid pace of development of new technologies, and as a consequence – the rapid shifts in moral and ethical values. We look around, searching for patterns and certainties to lean on. Artists are no different.
Just a dozen or so years ago, many creators delved into the recesses of their own psyche and emotional states. In painting, the forefront was occupied by a trend known as neo-surrealism. Images emerged that were introspective and egocentric. A kind of visual escapism that manifested a resistance to the ever more complex daily life.
In this year's proposals, such journeys into the subconscious or the exploration of one's (over)sensitivity rarely appear. There is more concreteness.
Once again in the history of art, we are witnessing a figurative boom, fortunately with very diverse faces. From hyper-realistic fidelity (some artists are virtuosos of their craft, as before), through delicate, impressionist ic reproductions of reality, to expressive distortion supported by aggressive lines and vibrant palettes.
It appears that artists have wide-opened their eyes to the world. Again. They translate into painting what they see in the near or distant foreground, without excessive speculation and getting tangled in multi-layered subtexts. However, even the most "readable" art contains subcutaneous messages.
I have the impression that this return to figuration is a subconscious (or conscious?) reaction to the aggression of technology, which so dehumanizes our lives that we cease to feel, taste, and explore them. As we immerse ourselves more intensively in the virtual world, we pay less and less attention to the real one.
Meanwhile, artists – in a more or less striking manner – teach us to look again... at the human being who can be touched, embraced, and exchanged glances with.
I'm looking at you, human.