Palo Macho and Jana Hojstričová

Sabina Jankovičová

The present exhibition continues the successful cooperation between two artists working not only with different topics, but also with different media as well: Palo Macho, a painter working with glass, and Jana Hostričová, a photographer. On Macho’s initiative, different co-authored projects have originated, in which his glass painting infiltrates through new approaches into drawing, photography and sculpture.

And it is precisely with Jana Hojstričová that this cooperation has had a successful sequel. For the combination of glass and photography has proven to be highly persuasive, able to enrich the other medium by a new dimension, complementing each other and squaring their capability of expression. After Scanning, their first common project in which abstract painting teamed up with “realistic” photography of the human body, both artists have come up with new topics. This time the script expands to hitherto unexplored dimensions of the human figure, such as clothing or cosmetic flasks, yet still referring to the intimacy and individuality of the body and its presence in reality in the form of personal items. Formally, the different objects gradually emerge from the painting into space. Thus, a painting-photograph becomes a spatial installation.

A major subject are again photographs of the body - mostly details of it - reflecting the presence of a human being. A completely new theme, though, is clothing, the casing of contemporary man. Clothing covers and protects the body, but at the same time also stresses the identity of the individual. Inside the protective wrapping of clothes there is a body which, in turn, also constitutes a protective casing - for the inner essence of man with their character, set of features, personality, psyche, consciousness, unconsciousness, and the intangible nature of their very self. People choose, select their clothes and by doing so reveal a great deal about themselves. While veiling the body, the selected garments unveil the true nature of the individual. Clothes are highly personal. Worn items of clothing bear traces of their user. In fact, the aim of this new common project is to visualise the relationship between the external and the internal, to show the different layers that make up a person.

A major novelty in this sequel is space. Venturing into space is an important moment, a change in the approach of both artists. Although Macho was already used to installing his paintings in space making use of multiple view-angles, the new resulting objects contain even more layered plains, vertical and horizontal surfaces crossing one another, communicating with each other, overlapping. Another important element is the presence of mirror surfaces that, thanks to their reflection and sheen, remain sufficiently dematerialised and, therefore, leave the composition unperturbed. The reflection of surrounding objects and images multiply the different painting and photographic motifs, opening new fields in the compositions.

Yet another interesting element is the inclusion of ready-made glass flasks within installations of images-photographs, revealing that both authors are still capable of finding and exploring novel ways of expression. Cooperation is, indeed, still evolving and promises plenty of opportunities down the road.