Seasons, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 120cm
Between Two Worlds
Painted House Gallery (Malovany Dum) Trebic, Czech Republic
25.4.2019 - 9.6.2019
Between Two Worlds is the first comprehensive look of Konvalina’s work together in a public space. Presented throughout a network of rooms of Trebic’s Renaissance period ‘Painted House’, Konvalina sets an intimate staging of memories and moments.
The exhibition establishes the direction in which Konvalina’s work is now travelling. He is demonstrating himself as a technically imaginative and confident painter of large scale abstraction. The curious venue allows an ambitious theme of reflections on digital and lived experiences to be understood through a deliberate thought-process as if in conversation with the artist himself.
In his own words, Konvalina describes his DisPlay series as “a reflection on an increasingly prevailing digital lifestyle and how we are surrounded by and validate experiences through the screens.
Unnatural “photoshopped” colours, screens, Moiré effect, glitches inadvertently affect how we perceive the world around us and all become part of our memories and overall
Konvalina had already distinguished himself in a successful artistic career in ballet reaching the highest level of principal. This exhibition marks an arrival point of a methodical and deliberate transition from one artistic space to another and nearly 6 years of full-time dedication to painting. A proverbial homecoming of sorts after a global career. But understanding this brief snapshot of Konvalina helps to frame his process as a painter and the overarching theme the exhibition spans. His work oozes a rigorous and disciplined training of perfectly choreographed movements and shapes. There are moments of what appears accidental, but as in dance, the canvas’ stave-like surfaces demonstrate an unmistakable orchestration. The ephemeral splattering of paint allows a viewer to absorb entire experiences gradually rather than a confrontation of abstracted interpretations or alien hieroglyphs. The paintings are not literal translations of experiences but of collected impressions. One can find themselves relating their own past memories, places and events. Yet then again, are we just looking for faces in the clouds?
Throughout the show, Konvalina highlights a commonality between digital imagery and abstract painting. Boldly addressing a problematic void in which abstraction has always appeared to inhabit. There is a justifiable mistrust of imagery, particularly digital imagery that often leads its validity to be questioned. Photography once was seen as captured experience or evidence. But as we have all become acclimated as digital natives we all know how an image can tell a thousand lies. It is a difficult space and topic to navigate yet Konvalina’s work commands the gallery space confident enough to meet that challenge. It is especially in Room 3 that brings this matrix of ideas together with [insert painting title here]. The Combined painting hints at Konvalina’s next momentum. A prototype of ideas and technologies that the artist is refining to further hone his creative repertoire. It hint’s at the devaluation of digital reproduction but also the potential of being assisted by artificial intelligence and its generative possibilities.
Konvalina asks the question “should we be reminded to experience more of life physically” rather than peer and observe life through a screen? At first, it appears a self-answering question, but we live life and our perspective is based on memories, which are fragile reflections of truth at best.
How much should we trust digital (virtual) reality that can be manipulated so easily? Ability to manipulate images on screens, opened up possibilities of how we can capture and translate better the physical experiences visually. At the same time it very easily allowed us to manipulate reality until you can’t recognise where the starting point was. How do we distinguish what the reality is or is digital reality is just as valid and true?
30 x 21cm
30 x 21cm
30 x 21cm
30 x 21cm
Is there value in trying to capture that perfect image at expense sometimes forgetting to experience it live? “Polaroids“ are my symbolic representation and a refection of our habit to capture all our experiences on camera sometimes at the expense of missing out on the experience. At the same time they are an attempt to capture my experiences.