“Portraits Deconstructed”

Ivo Bistrishki

16 -30 November 2010

Ivo Bistrichki has named his new exhibition “Deconstructive Portraits”. It opened at gallery “Arosita”in mid-November and aims to offer a new look at the classic portrait of the era of the Western Renaissance and the Baroque. The artist has chosen the portrait because this genre from all others in art has the strongest connection with the personality and how it withstands time. In the best of portraits from all eras are encoded and intertwined the psychological aspects of the image in its historical and social context in a manner, which discloses its uniqueness and importance. It is not by chance that the author chooses portraits of the past, undeniable masterpieces such as the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo de Vinci, “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” by Rembrandt and others. And assuming that the masterpiece is one of the few perfect creations in our imperfect world, it represents the ideal structure, in which each element is important, as a constructive, harmonious part of the whole.

How can we today communicate with the perfect work of art from far-off days? Usually when we observe it passively, we try to connect our own feel of it, our way of seeing and experiencing it with everything we have learned and read about it. But in this case, Ivo Bistrichki chooses an active position - to change and “deconstruct” the unique image; thus he makes it his own and brings it to the present , adding to its image issues of the present day, relevant here and now. Thus the classical images appropriate a twin existence - as a thing of the past and as a contemporary work of art. The author chooses an aggressive method for deconstructing and appropriating the images. First, he transfers it to a metal surface, by depriving it of its original color and turns it into a black and white image. Then he achieves the transformation by way of stabbing, scratching, breaking or bending the metal sheet.Next the process of transformation continues, the author deforms, partially erases or changes the structure and proportions of the face. Sometimes he even removes and replaces it with a substitute surface, but without losing the connection with the prototype. An important moment here is that despite the aggressive intervention, the prototype portrait never loses its beauty. The artist gives it a new identity, but never deprives it of its original beauty.

Exactly this approach gives meaning to the exhibition - deconstruction, but not destruction. A new way of seeing and interpreting something of the past. The creation of a different reality in “Deconstructive Portraits” succeed in provoking the spectator to take an active role, to see and reflect in a different way classical portraits and the meaning that they carry on.

Stefania Yanakieva