The common denominator of the works of the sculptor and graphic artist Marek Škubal is a conscious distance from, or limitation to, the idea of anthropocentrism and its value and visual standards. The author gradually brings to life a vast pantheon of worm-like Deities of his own personal mythology in the small engraved drawings of recent years - Inhuman in the sense of something that is distant from man, beyond his understanding and beyond him. He is equally interested in the possible forms of escape of the individual from the dictates of social convention and the search for new forms of the ideal of beauty in the extreme. Nelidské thus offers a look behind the curtain of parallel universes as well as an introspective contemplation of one's own humanity. A bilingual publication with graphic design by the studio Marvil, Jiří Karásek and Radek Typovský has been produced in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and the Felix Jenewein Gallery.
Where are the limits of the current ideal of beauty? What if we look at the opposite side of the spectrum outside the mainstream understanding influenced by mass production and media? At first glance, contrary to the usual idea, a deformed, injured or consciously injured face leads beyond the limits of the general understanding of humanity. But it is a question of perception a priori, what if strong attitudes, an individual and uncompromising expression that sets its own boundaries, both content and visual, are hidden behind such an expression?
Marek Škubal (*1986), a graduate of Prague's AVU, is systematically and long-term looking for an answer to the above-mentioned questions, the seeds of which can be found deep in cultural history. They appear and disappear repeatedly in the manifestations of society and art. Currently, however, representing a significant current of thought and expression connected with ritualized behavior, music, literature.
In his monographic exhibition, Marek Škubal combines two ensembles and two artistic approaches in perfect form.
Nefertiti now - cycle of five portrait busts is a sculptural rendering of the principle. The name refers to the iconic polychrome bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, who since ancient times stood for the ideal of female beauty. However, the depicted personalities deviate from the conventional aesthetic canon, break it or completely overturn it. According to his own words, the author chooses female artists of different genres, "personalities strong enough humanly, artistically and visually that they create their own canon". These are portraits of musicians Anna Varney (Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of shadows), ¥o-Landi Vi$$er (Die Antwoord), Araney Peel (Grausame Töchter), model Melanie Gaydos and body art artist Maria Jose Christerny, known as Vampire woman. Marek Škubal intentionally comes up with a way of expression that refers to classic works of the past. On the one hand, this can be understood as a certain contrast to the extreme visuality of those depicted, but on the other hand, it moves them to a timeless level and strengthens their status as a canonical idol.
The God of Abominable Things – A collection of 65 scratchboard drawings engraved with a scalpel is the culmination of his doctoral work at AVU in Jiří Petrbok's studio. Sixty-five different forms of a single being, a symbolic God, capable of absorbing polarities and uniting them. Questions of evil and good, beauty and ugliness no longer decide here. God is not a being, he unites opposites and transforms them into another unity. It is born from the darkness that it continues to consume and grow from. Darkness is his essence, an integral part and structure of his body. The cycle, based on the genesis of the author's previous work and experience with Eastern philosophy, has a spiritual character both in its content and in the process of its creation. It does not cause decay but eternal growth.
At first glance, the possible inhumanity, conditioned by the polemic between the mainstream and its different form, becomes essentially human in the power of its metamorphosis, its transformation into another entity, no longer an earthly being.
A bilingual publication is being published for the exhibition in collaboration with the Marvil studio, which will be launched at the opening.