Artist: Robert Cvetkovski
Curated by Kirila Cvetkovska
Maxim Gorky describes the good qualities of our soul by stating that they are “most successfully and forcefullyawakened by the power of art. Just as science is the intellect of the world, art is its soul.” In this way, Ethereal Topography explores a specific path to the temple of the soul and the altar of our existence, encompassing works made in the form of modern icons. The exhibitionincludes a mixture of paintings from theartist’s abundant opus, made incombination with natural materials (sawdust, seagrass, sand, natural pigments etc.)that generate a 3D illusion andevoke formssimilar tobas-reliefs. Each painting is symbolically comprised of a single abstract gate (tothe artist’s intimate world) as well as signs of an arch or arcade that evoke the symbolism of historic culturalorigins and traditions. In additionto each painting, on the floor, there would be exhibited parts of the artist’smaterial private life (painting brush, boots, toothbrush etc.) that were present during the creation of the art works.Thus, the direct contrast between the materialityandthe artist’sinner persona would be shown, at the same timeinvestigating the artistic process of creating a particular art work.
In today’s world of distorted values where the worshiped god is social media, Ethereal Topography represents a return to our spiritual wealth, reflecting the artist’s role of a dissident, running away from the ubiquitous symptoms of capitalism and consumerism. As a response to this omnipresent condition, the project also includes an additionalinteractive installation – again containingparts of the artist’s material private life. The audience isinvited and ecouraged to bring a personal, intimate object that could be exchanged with one of the artist’s items, as ametaphor for a market exchange. Would this act satisfy the visitors’ need for taking a photo of a certain materialitem, ready to be posted on a specific social medium (facebook, instagram etc.), since the actual inner feelingprompted by the exhibition could not be photographed? The particular interaction is a direct interventionintothecontemporary social mantra that if something is not shared publicly, seems as it never happened.This project intends to turn the gallery space into a creative laboratory, rather than only present a mere exhibitionwithin closed walls.
Ethereal Topography is offered as a trigger of a deeper thought and as a replacement of the constant praise of artificial productivity imposed by the rapid rhythm of our everyday lives.
Robert Cvetkovski is a Macedonian academic painter and artist. His artistic process and work comprise of few phases, the latest of which,the cycle Messagehas been developing for over a decade and is still ongoing.His textured paintings include application of modern technical methods as a characteristic of the new postmodernaesthetic. In his works, he continuously portrays the archways of Macedonia that have evolved into symbols reflectinghisexploration of the relationship between an artist and a place. These messages are in fact mediation tools, showing not onlythe author’s cultural origin, but at the same time narrating a story about our changing perception of the world, altered by theforces of nature and the universe.
Cvetkovski has had 23 solo exhibitions, and has participated in over 200 group exhibitions, as well as in morethan 40colonies, all around the world. His works are part of private collections in the USA, China, Japan, Norway, Switzerland,France, Germany, Australia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia; and permanent collectionsat the Center of Contemporary Art – Podgorica, Montenegro; the City Museum of Skopje, Macedonia; UKKSA Academy,Turkey and the City Museum of Kriva Palanka, Macedonia.
Cvetkovski also works as a professor, teaching visual art.