Vuk Vidor “Solo Show – Even Superheroes Can’t Save Us Now”
Louise Alexander Gallery, Porto Cervo, Italy
30/08/2012 to 29/09/2012
This exhibition is the second part of a project titled “American Quartet”, in which the artist deals with his interpretations of symbols and archetypes as seen through the current prism of todays America. Appropriating comic strip superhero characters, Vidor lavishly represents them as tired, deflated and defeated figures, infiltrated and disarmed by fear.
These colourful and at first, seemingly pop paintings show figures in pensive and vulnerable poses and situations. Vidor uses them to describe his view of America and the world’s current political and power landscape. The “pop” aethetic used by the artist has a purposefully cloying effect when set against the sombre subject-matter of the works. In a few of the paintings, for example, the superhero characters are depicted with a conversation bubble with no words.
Traditionally, comic book conversation bubbles express power with words such as ‘bam’ and ‘pow’ whereas these empty one convey silence. In a more subtle manner, the viewer also comes across religious references and Christian imagery, more precisely the Passion of Christ which can be found in most of the paintings in the exhibition.
Vuk Vidors laser-cut sculptures are fantastically sparse works created with minimal, linear gestures. His characters are depicted as contorted forms and even seem to be dripping or melting. His drawings, presented in a secuence similar to comic strips present non-linear narratives of a superhero and his perils. These drawings contain appropriately
ominous phrases such as ‘an eye for an eye’, ‘the peril and the power’ and ‘what price life’, setting the tone and serving as a catalyst for their reading.
In one of the laser cut sculptures, the word ‘terror’ is inscribed in the same font and style as in Halloween decorations, again subversively creating tension by drawing in this childlike pop element and pairing it with serious political connotations.
Part one of ‘American Quartet’ first introduced the topic of fear by dealing with the image of the expired idol no longer symbolizing a Rock Star, but transformed into a paramilitary/terrorist. Part Three and Four will furtherexplore the topic of fear in a diversity of media: monumental sculpture, installation; and a film installation. The later will be loosely based on a novel by Sam Shepard and will question the stereotype of the Wild West and the Cowboy. As stated by the artist himself, America, Land of Modern Myths is confronted with the validity of the very myths which helped create the mightiest country on Earth. This project doesn’t have the pretension to be politically relevant, but only to question a possible reality and illustrate it. Which in essence, is also political…