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Even before his graduation in 2000 with his MFA (from the U.of New Orleans),  Zakic was turning the heads of curators, gallery directors, collectors and  supporters of the visual arts. Classically trained in Eastern Europe, read more…..

Here is the latest review of Boris Zakic’s exhibition  “shhh.  flicker”

by Ryan Nafziger. (please enjoy & share with friends)

Boris Zakic is an academic.  I knew that after five seconds of reading.  He understands the ties 21st century art shares with the Greco-Roman tradition.  He constantly alludes to mythology and ancient history, both in his painting and his writing.  An excerpt from a description of his own work reads as, “…the intensity is in their Apollonian balance, I believe, not in the value distribution of lights-darks. The stroke’s movement and an occasional hint of magenta “come together” in a rather neoclassical sense, as if converging à la grisaille into a single “idealized” form.”  (A rather apt description)  Zakic’s paintings range in effect from consummate minimalism, mere shades of gray hinting at austere architectural interiors, to his signature technical virtuosity.  Even the show’s name, “shhh, flicker” is appropriately post-modern: bizarre and vague.  While there is a wealth of scholastic depth to Zakic’s work, none of that really seems to matter when you look at his paintings.  All that really matters is how good he is at creating an image.

“Candlelight”, pictured below, looks like two very large brushstrokes on a canvas.  That is an illusion.  The clumping of oil paint between the bristles and smear of pigment across the linen canvas is a photorealistic recreation of what a single brush stroke would look like at about 100x magnification.  His actual brushstrokes, save for a few purposefully textured accents (like the candles in “Flickering”) are practically indiscernible.  The transition from artificially magnified brushstroke to hazy interior is seamless.  There is a world of conversation and commentary to be inferred from the subject matter, a painting artificially depicting a magnified brushstroke, in photorealistic detail, in the context of a larger Greco-Roman theme, but all of that takes backseat to the strength of Zakic’s technical prowess.


The common thread, beyond the neoclassical references and the cool, minimalist color palette, is the artificial aleatoricism.  In “Lift”, Zakic uses the wrinkles from an intentionally poorly stretched canvas to created the illusion of brushstroke interference (imagine the disruptive effect of dragging a brush stroke across the wrinkled peaks of an uneven canvas).  Closer inspection reveals the technical intent of this illusion.  While the work appears to be sloppy, relying on abstract serendipity, it isn’t.  Every brushstroke is purposeful and controlled.  Even the pencil marks, showing through the paint in a few of his works, seem to have been added ex post facto.

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