Rastislav Podoba — Tide

Rastislav Podoba is one of the remarkable representatives among young Slovak painters. He, in contrast to some other members of his generation ...


Article of Inventory No.: 0-2073

Author: Rastislav Podoba
Name of the Work: Príliv (Tide)
Year: 2004
Technique: oil
Material: canvas
Dimensions:  100x150cm
Marked: unmarked

Rastislav Podoba is one of the remarkable representatives among young Slovak painters. He, in contrast to some other members of his generation, approaches his painting analytically and examines the expression means and the essence of the medium for painting. He is contemplative, even introspective in his expression. He uses reduced colours spectrum and dark hues. He does not want to achieve decorative effects, on the contrary, hinted reality is more important for him – something that cannot be recognized on canvas at the first glance, something for which the mind puts the finishing touches backgrounded by the personal experience.

His paintings frequently contain motives of abandoned, emptied landscapes, fragments of urban environments, oversized banal objects such as a chair, container or an observation point. He also incorporates human figure or parts of human body in his works.  The author’s intention is not mere representation of the above mentioned motives, his paintings are not only the reproductions of reality. They serve the author as a point of departure for the analysis of various problems, which in his works recur. He studies such phenomena as to observe or to be observed, the confrontation of the surface in painting and space as such, the “repainting” of images and objects as a tool to perceive the world. He is interested in the process of how a painting originates and how it is being perceived. He focuses on the formal but also intellectual depth of painting.

His oil on canvas titled Príliv (Tide) presents a melancholic scene where the horrifying dark tide swashes the grey, barren, and hostile coast. The sea and the land blend in colours, the foamy tide accentuates the anticipation of a borderline between them. The sky is in grey and green and brownish hues. The colour spectrum used in the bottom part of the painting evokes suggestively a stormy atmosphere – threatening but also cleansing. In Podoba’s painting “tricles” are simple but powerful simulation of rain on the canvas (in contrast to their usage at present, which is frequent but not impressive,purposeless), water simply pours out of the sea and the sky. The “emptiness”, typical for Podoba, highlights the power of nature, cleanliness and sovereignty of nature elements (water, earth, air).

The landscape vanishing and emerging again in tide exemplifies the author’s interest in the examination of processes and transformations of shapes, colours, and light as well as our way of understanding of reality. Reality is unfathomable because tide as well as the whole world is in a constant flux, constantly in a state of transformation, eternally different. “Rastislav Podoba does not record narratives in his paintings. He is rather attracted by a process as such: the transformation of the expression or the change of nature, transformation from one state into another.”[1]

Podoba examined closer the ongoing process and changes in the cycle of 13 paintings (Záznam, 2005 Recording) a year later. He worked with video recordings of a tornado – a natural phenomenon changing so quickly that one cannot capture its individual stage, it can be perceived only globally.

RASTISLAV PODOBA was born in 1975 in Bánovce nad Bebravou. Between 1996 -2002 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia in studios lead by Professor Vladimír Popovič and Professor Rudolf Sikora. In 2006, 2007, and 2009 he was among finalists of the VUB Painting Competition. In 2008 he was nominated for the Henkel Art Award to represent Slovakia. In 2009 he was awarded the Martin Benka Prize. He lives and creates in Krušovce near Topoľčany.

Omar Mirza

Photography: Slavomír Žákovič


[1] Ivan Jančár: Rastislav Podoba, Vydavateľstvo Krása, Bratislava 2011, p. 7.

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