Emőke Vargová — Self-portrait

Emőke Vargová produces paintings, objects and installations. She uses unconventional materials, such as wax and parafine, toy plastic characters, different found objects, as well as textile, wood, paper or plastic transparent materials. Her artwork is characterized by the gentle and modest female traits, she draws the topics from everyday and personal life experiences...

virtuálna galéria

No.:  F-35

Artist: Emőke Vargová
Title: Self-portrait
Year of origin: 1999
Technique: mixed technique
Material: mixed material
Dimensions: 70 x 100 cm
signature: unsigned

Emőke Vargová produces paintings, objects and installations. She uses unconventional materials, such as wax and parafine, toy plastic characters, different found objects, as well as textile, wood, paper or plastic transparent materials. Her artwork is characterized by the gentle and modest female traits, she draws the topics from everyday and personal life experiences. After her early painting period she began to concentrate on the three dimensional installations, works with conceptual thinking and objects in order to reflect the attitude towards women in the society.  After 2000 she returns to the medium painting, her thinking remains strongly individual, female one, but inspired by her own life and experiences.

The Self-portrait is an artwork which can be formally categorized as a stitch painting and soft plastic art. The pieces of multicoloured cloth and different dimensions sewn in the transparent plastic, supplemented with the line produced by the sewing machine present the portrait of the author. With chill mark relief and perspective, a convincing illusion of space is created on the surface.

This work belongs to the artwork in which Vargová deals with the essence of femininity, thematized through the usage of handwork, referring to the traditional folk embroidery as an archetypal expression of the creativity of Slovak women. With the usage of the unconventional material (plastic) and depicting the author herself, she ironizes the typical female handwork, its iconography, material as well as semantic basis and shifts into the new contexts.

Spontaneously, with self irony and without strong female allusions, the author is revealing herself, veiled in the hood and with the ´veil´ from the plastic, that functions contradictory towards the idealized and almost canonical depicting, or unveiling the ´female beauty´ in the media.

EMŐKE VARGOVÁ was born in 1965 in Dunajská Streda. In 1984-91 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Department of painting and other media), where she currently works as a teacher. In 1992 she was awarded Martin Benka prize, in 1999 she won the prize in the competition Young Slovak Artist of the Year. She participated in many exhibitions in Slovakia, as well as abroad. She lives and works in Bratislava.

Omar Mirza


This acquisition has been supported using public funds provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.