Gorana Težak / Nokturno
Nokturno (After Gorana – Gorana)
Today, more than ever in history, contemporary art scene both in Europe and the rest of the world (not to say “global”) is exposed to the influence of the money flow and financial market, which ( together with a large part of art critics, and a small part of some “established” art historians) have shown to be the key factors in forming the principle that makes something “good” (in) or “bad” (out) in today’s art; whether it is worth on the market or not. The contemporary art scene or art market of a small nation or a smaller region – non-existent due to its lack of global importance – is in a somewhat better situation for better development because it is more independent of the mentioned financial impact, but such a scene / market is facing a completely different problem, the one of a more “provincial” nature, which is manifested in the incompetence and superficiality of some leading experts, and the defects and delusions of certain art critics, who do not feel art completely and know it only superficially, who use it without emotional engagement or thinking, solely and exclusively in the pursuit of their personal careers and private goals, too often and without the most basic formal education (e.g. journalists). There is no money on such an art scene and, additionally, such a scene is most commonly the nutritious basis for the development and emergence of complete artistic defects, or, at best, of mediocre visual personalities. This is not always the case and our national art scene, through the recent past, has been a real and serious example (Gorgona, Exat 51, Nove tendencije, etc.), but it is “our” reality, which is repeated too often, especially in the past twenty years, but not only here, but also in other “small” nations across Europe as well as the World. All the “small” ones are in almost the same situation. Déjà vu. Sometimes even the true connoisseurs were seduced by the bad energy of the masses, and shouted funny, insignificant manifestations for some art directions, until they were awakened and saw that they were mistaken. These trends and forced direction can be avoided, and Gorana Težak knows just how. Although young, she is a well-experienced painter, who sticks to firm belief which separates the good art from bad art. She knows that the most important thing (generally in everything that man does with his life) is to be honest and true to yourself, never letting go to the masses that irretrievably lead to mediocrity and insignificance. A good eye of a true collector, art historian, art critic, or ordinary lover of art, always recognizes quality. Sometimes, in the absence of formal education, some pretentious mouth may, without the hassle of thinking, say: I do not know why, but I know and see that this is good! (Excitement from seeing good art should release endorphin, just like it does when people make love, creating “positive chemistry” – love at first sight.) Those who love painting and art in general, and who know Gorana Težak’s work, cannot be indifferent to her works. It is a painter who gradually and slowly evolved from abstract expressionism, which was her beginning, through a short period of pure figuration, and reached the unique and marvelous union that led us into the incredible world of her imagination and beliefs, always politically and socially engaged, but completely unique, independent and free from any influence of a particular political stream or option. Gorana, as a woman and as a painter is self-conscious. She knows what she wants, in life and in painting, but she also knows what she stands for. That’s why she has always been and will remain out of the stream. Her painting cannot be determined by any direction and it cannot be compared to any recent or deceased painter. She is not a copy of Gerhard Richter or Andy Warhol, neither does she use tricks or, in the absence of ideas, contemporary world art magazines which would inspire something new or already made, neither does she take these new tendencies and directions in world painting to superficially replicate them. It is necessary to have the courage, the confidence and the guts to tackle canvas painting in today’s art world, which predominantly claims to performances, artistic actions, inventions and novelties, just to be as simple and fast as possible, without the hassle of “drilling” the technique, unlike Gorana’s work. That is why she has my appreciation and trust, not underestimating the aforementioned art directions and disciplines. She chose the tough path, but the only one that can lead to absolute success, which is – to be a painter (in the true and complete sense of the word). “Nokturno” is the most recent painters’ cycle, and is the result of her work in the past year and a half. Like in all of her previous cycles, reflection and thought are key elements of her painting. The very title “Nokturno” reflects certain grief and nostalgia for the past times, reflecting on the meaning of life, freedom – both formal and the freedom of personal opinion, identity and everything that torments the average philosopher. Her paintings are an aggregate of questions to which she seeks answers, but there is no accurate and precise answer to these questions. They remain eternal questions. The landscapes we can see in these works are phantasmagorical and utopian places, where anything is possible, in a transcendental world of Gorana’s imagination, her unique world – hence her paintings are unrepeatable and do not remind of anything so far seen in painting (“Landscape of the Future 2″ and” Nokturno”). In this cycle, Gorana approaches surrealism of thought and visual expression, falling into a sphere of a whole new part of her painting opus. Although I can link the “Nokturno” to her previous cycle, I think her painting has come to a new phase. Particularly, this can be said for two extremely successful paintings that are most distant from the previous cycle, namely “Heritage” and “White noise”. My personal favorite is definitely the surrealistic “Nokturno”, which I think is the painter’s absolute masterpiece.
What makes Gorana recognizable, and what has been very noticeable in the last few cycles, is a unique blend of drawings and images, abstractions and figurations, real and unreal, creating a special sense of surrealism, but also the total alienation of an individual from society (something similar to the megalopolis in the night, painted by Nenad Vorih, only in a different context). The typical ink drawing technique is perfectly melted and blended with oil on canvas, creating a somewhat comic book sensation, like some vintage covers of some Marvel releases. At the same time, this blend is the key place of creation of this phantasmagorical, surreal world of Gorana, in which we all wish to stay, at least for a while. It is the place and origin is all of her aspirations, desires, doubts and conflicts. That is her home. That is her alternate address.
Even now as I write this, in my mind I lie at the bottom of the “Nokturno” boat, drowsily rocking on the tense surface of the infinitely deep ocean of the subconscious, knowing that the shadow of questions and doubts lurks and looks over the abyss of eternity. I hope Gorana will not object to this.
Robert Kavazović Horvat, mag. hist. art.
Gorana Težak was born in Pula in 1985. In 2000, she enrolled in the School of Applied Arts and Design in Pula. In 2010 she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of prof. Duje Jurić. She has participated in several art residences and humanitarian auctions: Art residence, Medana (Slovenia), Art residence, Varese (Italy), Artist in residence, Warberg ob der Aist (Austria)… She lives and works in Zagreb and Pula. In 2012 she became a member of HDLU of Istria. Since 2017, she has been a member of HZSU. She has exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions.