Gregor Žakelj

Gregor's art is a conglomerate of the impressionistic perception of everyday life. The “Cripples”, as he refers to his own creations, are unique creatures, a collage of body parts previously belonging to various beings. Through a combination of the contemporary, the urban, the instinctively animalistic and the imaginary, their properties symbolize human sensations and thoughts. The Cripples range from those comprising relatively realistic body parts, for example a human body with an animal head, to those in which dominant imaginary shapes take over, where human eyes or mouth are but a diminutive motive particle.

Construction in the manner of cubism, as the basic motto of Gregor's art, is based on two levels. On the first one, the artist experiments with body parts from the actual (horse, crow, human clothes, boots) or imaginary world, through which a collage of symbols and possible interpretations is created. The illustrations carry a dense connotative mass and invoke numerous interpretations in the observer, while foremostly mirroring human traits and flaws, as for example vanity through a horse's head on top of a suit and tie, invincibility through a crow on extensive legs, or even pretentiousness wearing the cock's comb. The underlying motive is the revival of symbolism that allows identification with many contemporary everyday situations.

On the second level of creativity, the artist moves from constructs involving realistic body parts to those combining actual and imaginary ones, all the way into the domain of the fully fantastic or surreal. This domain no longer deals with recognizable symbolic meanings but instead puts forth Cripples themselves – transformers that do not follow the code of realistic images and demand a greater share of interpretative imagination from the observer. These transformers are disfigured creatures, usually featuring a particularly asymmetrical head with no neck, a rectangular body and a greater or lesser number of extremities. Each individual part could stand as an independent entity, while their combination represents, from the viewpoint of human aesthetic values, a chaotic disharmony. With the transformers, the work of the artist shifts from communicative art towards art that defies classic interpretative approaches and gives support to the motto of the artist - defying the notion that something that does not exist cannot be drawn.


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