MARKO JAKŠE: Art must be beautiful. And white.

The fifth anniversary of the art space KiBela was marked with the opening of an exhibition of the latest paintings of Marko Jakše. The opening took place on Friday, 23 January 2004 at 8 pm. The exhibition lasted till 20 February.  

The opening started with the power-point presentation of Kibela's history, which showed photos of 80 international and local exhibitions, events and performances of contemporary visual artists that use different media to express themselves. Kibela's programme has always included social events with the public as co-creators of gallery's visual image. And there is no image without the audience.  

KiBela was brought to life in January 1999. First to fill its whiteness was the artist Marko Jakše himself with the collection of paintings entitled Noah's Boat. Marko has remained one of the most loyal collaborators. He cooperated at five of Kibla's international projects (Vienna, Cluj, Trnava), two group exhibitions (Ne t'č ne m'š and Eye-Try) and after five years he held his second solo exhibition. KiBela has been for a while the only gallery with which Marko Jakše is willing to cooperate.  

The Slovene capital was marked with a flood of cultural events last December. After three years of calmness Marko Jakše decided to organise his own exhibition in castle Kodeljevo. 40 large format paintings that expressed powerful and convincing creative power scored immediate great success and approval of audience, which was numerous regarding the fact that the exhibition was held in a completely unknown location. Who would have thought that the most subversive visual media in 2004 would be painting?  

Jakše was born in 1959 in Ljubljana. In 1987 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts under the mentorship of M. Krašovec and made his way to the Slovene painting scene with his shocking metaphores that perverted Christian mentality rooted in Slovene mythology. On one hand provocative and on the other melancholic paintings, whose contents are playing with anything in an uncensored manner, have always been likable and enthusiastic in the eyes of the public.   Paintings drawn during the last three years do not distinguish much regarding the contents and problems, but qualitatively the artist is sharpening as a diamond. So, to that it is only about the strong continuity of a vigorous creator would not be saying enough.  

Marko Jakše's qualitative extent is still extremely wide and he still researches figure, portrait and flora and fauna in interiors as well as in open landscapes. The artist puts diverse figuration as equal elements into mutual conflicts, dramatically and many times bloody situations on one hand and elegiac, melancholic and sometimes symbolically tranquil shades on the other hand. (Študije v modrem, 40 let Marije Snežne).  

He is extremely sublime observer, who lucidly perceives visual tactile values and translates them into painting material. In his mature years and with continual researching approach he is achieving a true refined painting mastery.  

It is as if he uses realism as a means to deceive / convince the eye, so that the viewer starts believing in a possible existence which is later, with some break or extreme, put into the sphere of the unreal (unreal because it can not be seen). And so he opens the dusty doors of a viewer and brings him into the world that arouses fear in its greyness or dreadfulness; there he swings him into aesthetic comfort, which is the immanent quality of art.  

Melancholic romantic landscapes per se or virtuously interweaved patterns with 3D effect are formally minimised into abstractions, which is a result of new challenges the artist faced after his New York experience (2000). These abstractions are incredibly alive, convincing and express qualities with colours and forms, typical for Jakše.  

Marko Jakše has reached refinement of old masters and even more: his paintings can not be put in just any century; Although he operates with archetypes, his paintings talk about here and now. He is completely contemporary, subversive.

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