Adam Šakový — 1914, Still Alive 4

Two titles from Adam Šakový’s monumental painting cycle became a part of Nitra Gallery’s collection in 2017...

Inventory No. O – 2183; O – 2184

Artist: Adam Šakový
Title: -1914 (O-2183), Still Alive 4 (O-2184)

Year: 2015 (O-2183), 2016 (O-2184)
Technique: oil
Material: canvas
Dimensions: 70x 50 cm (O- 2183), 130 x 50 cm (O-2184)

Signature: O -2183. Stamp, rear side of the canvas, bottom right: in black paint, from the left side „2015 Adam Šakový“ (Šakový, Adam); signature rear side of the canvas, bottom right: black marker:“ Šakový“ (Šakový, Adam); stamp, rear side of the canvas, near bottom left corner: in black paint: „Adam Šakový“ (Sakový, Adam); rear side of the canvas, bottom left.

O-2184.Signature, rear side of the canvas, bottom right: by brush, in black paint: „ Šakový“ ( Sakový, Adam); rear side of the canvas, bottom right: by brush, in black paint: „ (Šakový, Adam), rear side of the canvas, bottom left: black marker: „ O-2184“, one line below : „2017“, one line below: „NG“ (artist: deposit custodian)

Two titles from Adam Šakový’s monumental painting cycle Educationsbecame a part of Nitra Gallery’s collection in 2017. The young painter (and photographer) focuses on studying and creating a dialogue with historical and historicising painting. The two oils on canvas titled -1914and Still Alive 4 depict dead animals. In the case of -1914, it is an image of birds that went extinct in the year 1914. The other canvas, Still Alive 4, features four kinds of animals whose species still live in nature, but these specimen have been taxidermised (a pheasant, fox, weasel and sparrow). (Indirectly posing a question of “how long do they have”…). The artist’s visual language is reinforced with his craftsmanship, precise sense for detail, while bearing in mind neo-Classical panting language. His goal is to balance the viewer’s perception, sight and focus.

Does he make us uneasy with his hyperrealistic paintings, paintings resembling photographies? Which part of his work is supposed to be an illusion? What is the deliberately staged play on “images” and the viewer supposed to mean? The paintings’ melancholic atmosphere  carries a whole load of sensations. He re-evaluates critically what he quotes and the strategy he uses to comment on things is a valuable addition to the spectrum of contemporary painting. The stillness of Šakový’s images and the process of their creation present various post-production versions of their stories (parables and allegories). The paintings can be perceived as a teaching aid that is supposed to show us the path of “taxidermised painting”.

His work is supposed to make us doubt ourselves, our attention and perception. It points out our common problem of being unable to differentiate. It challenges our eyes and minds to focus, pay attention and think. Using a noble gesture of relinquishing his authorship, Šakový invites us to join his painting research that consists of the analysis of dead animals, i.e. taxidermised animals and nature. Šakový’s theme of Educationsmostly focuses on delivering and evaluating information. He selectively choses teaching aids as objects of his works as they have always been used as a part of various education methods in different fields. He works with our long-term memory that is usually based on principles of selection, depletion and focus on detail. For example, when his works are titled with a date, it usually represents the year when the given species went extinct. His works are linked to nature more than they seem at first glance.

Adam Šakový (1987 Zvolen):He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava at a studio led by Doc. K. Kosziba, ArtD. (2007-2013). In 2015, he was a finalist at the Painting competition – VUB Charity Award for Young Artists. In 2010 and 2011, he was a semi-finalist at the Strabag ArtAwards and a finalist at ESSL Art Award (2013). His participates regularly at group and solo exhibitions: 1987, Nitra Gallery’s Salon; 1-7, Soda Gallery, Bratislava; Za, East Slovak Gallery, Košice; Education, Galerie 209, Brno; Sutúrama, Schemnitz Gallery, Banská Štiavnica;Wandering Through Photography Memory, Sala Dogana, Genoa; The Same, But Smaller or of the Same Size, But Further, Nové Zámky; February in the Moon – Refining the Ascendants, IndustraArt, Brno.

Ľudmila Kasaj Poláčková

Supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council.