At once dreary and dream-like, the art of Zagreb-based Croatian painter Igor Taritaš (born 1987, Pakrac) is an extended exploration of space and our relationship to it. The space in question here is not mere physical area and air, rather it is that whole expanse and dimension of reality in which we move about and have our being. What is its structure? What is its nature? How do we perceive it? Make sense of it? These are some of the issues that emerge when one considers Igor’s works.
Much of the art is executed in muted and dusty shades. A film of grainy particles covers all of the paintings, evoking states of social or personal disintegration and decay. But, interestingly, the arenas that Igor displays before the viewer, even though they may look enclosed, never actually restrict or limit a person. Doorways and windows always open further, leading to mysterious dark or light rooms and corridors. This seems to signify change, some hope. It carries the comforting and empowering connotation that outlets and exits may be found in and around circumstances of deterioration and conditions of disrepair. Space spreads far and wide. It goes on, it cannot be contained – with it, our bodies and minds can make progress too.
Igor himself sees a deep and strong spiritual meaning in his art, despite the fact that it largely depicts materialities. He explains, “The spaces in which we reside possess an energy that affects us as spiritual beings. This energy led me to paint empty spaces of surreal and melancholic atmosphere. The perspective, as an inevitable element and method of perception of space, leads us to perpetuity. With perspective and geometric surfaces, I gradually build paintings that create a surface and third dimensional interaction. The interiors are stripped of inessential elements. Here, certain exterior components such as architecture, rails, roads appear often. Through scraping, expressive colour dripping and stained surfaces on my paintings, I create an illusion of real space intertwined with inner spirits.”
Igor began painting early. His tells us about his journey: “I started to paint as a child with my father, who was an amateur painter. He mostly painted landscapes and horses but I always wanted to be better than that, even though he was my first inspiration. After I started at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, everything changed. I found new inspiration and I looked through the world more seriously and critically. As I changed my point of view, I also changed my own signature as an artist. While studying in college, I was very impressed by the Leipzig School and Surrealism but the biggest impact on me was made by the movie artist Tarkovsky. I really appreciate the metaphysical atmosphere of his works, which can also be found in some of my paintings.”
Till date, Igor has had ten solo exhibitions and a few group exhibitions across his country and abroad. A major highlight of his career was his participation in the 2016 “Exporting Zagreb” display in the National Museum in Gdańsk, Poland. He is a member of the Croatian contemporary art platform p_3 as well as the Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU). His works can be found in private collections in the UK, the USA and Australia. They have also been acquired by 2C for ART, a fine art gallery in Salzburg, Austria, which showcases a mix of upcoming, mid-career and established artists – among them American icons of pop art Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana.
Links: Blog (taritasigor.blogspot.hr) | Facebook (www.facebook.com/Igor-Taritaš-TAŠO-158295680994605) | Instagram (www.instagram.com/igor_taritas) | Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/igortaritas).
Images used with permission.