‘Me, Myself & Us’
a group show with
Dominika Kováčiková, Florine Imo, Joris Bochman,
Valerie Savchits & Kyvèli Zoi
17.02.23 - 11.03.23
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Me, Myself, and Us brings together five artists who work with portraits and self-portraits to undertake a reflective introspection about their own identity, but that serves as a pretext to analyze what is happening at a collective level. Gombrich said that the artist is the rediscoverer of the things we see everyday. Through self-representation and the representation of the other, artists bring new perspectives and interpretations of the context they belong to, but also weigh collective emotions, experiences and moods. Exploring individual identity means inevitably exploring the relationship with the other. A process that reveals key information about the state of mind and the collective awareness of the present social environment.
In the current context of vindication and defense of each individual's own identities, the artists of Me, Myself and Us share a common interest in the representation of the human body as a tool to challenge conventional norms, creating their own depictions of the self and alluding to the other in an open, tolerant and global way. The exhibition therefore connects with broader social and cultural issues and comments on topics such as adolescent insecurity, love and heartbreak, sexuality, independence and intimacy, or the various definitions of the masculine and the feminine.
Dominika Kováčiková (Slovakia, 1996) alludes to the loss of innocence and unresolved traumas in the transition to adulthood from the perspective of a woman in a world ruled by men. In one of her works, the artist talks about how the desperation to get attention and affection can lead to neglect and self-harm until reaching self-destruction. “The only person who will never leave you is yourself,” the artist stipulates.
An idea that resonates with one of the works by Florine Imo (Austria, 1995) in which she represents herself driving a convertible car in the purest Malibu style, accompanied by a dog with a smile just as big as hers. Nobody bothers them, the freedom, fun and independence can be smelled, and together they enjoy the sunset and the hot air that crashes against their skins and fur. Florine's women don't care about what we think of them. Surrounded by lush and generous vegetation, they inhabit remote and jungle environments. As if they were wild animals, their tigress's manes wave openly. In the artist's words, they are "prepared to attack and prepared to love", evoking the complex duality that is so characteristic of human existence.
The works of Joris Bochman (1985, The Netherlands) portray everyday moments with humor and irony, often starring anxious men, with tense expressions and ambiguous attitudes. The skin is an important element in his work and serves to underline the intensity of the instant represented. He portrays moments that could go unnoticed but that, on the contrary, show that magic appears when least expected.
Valerie Savchits (Latvia, 1993) employs the use of close-ups to frame the compositions of her works. The impatient gestures of her self-portraits, inspired by moments of wait and frustrated expectations, joined to the challenging looks of her characters, create environments that seem extracted from the world of dreams, with scenarios of distorted perspectives as occurs in the darkest nightmares. The artist thus places us in a mysterious, sleepwalking, unknown territory, where words float and symbols abound. Using visual codes that draw on gothic aesthetics, comics and dark narratives, the artist exhibits her disagreement with the normalization of beauty demanded in society. Celebrating the uniqueness of each of us, dignifying it, Valerie Savchits once again resonates with what so many claim.
Kyvèli Zoi’s work (Athens, 1993) focuses on female intimacy from a mystical, sensitive and close point of view. By zooming in on the torsos of the women she represents, the question arises about the history that accompanies them, where do they come from and where they are heading with those outfits, what would the faces that the artist shamelessly hides from us would tell.
When talking about themselves, artists also speak about all of us and act as witnesses to a given moment. Through their chosen representation of the current moment, the artists gathered in "Me, Myself and Us" conduct an intimate and revealing examination of broader global cultural, social, and political narratives.
Dominika Kováčiková (1996) was born in Slovakia. The main themes in her work are love, adolescence, loss of innocence, and the vast troubles of fitting into the adult world, all through the lens of a woman.
The heroine from her paintings has a desire for acknowledgement and achievement within a male dominated world; so, she is prepared to fight for it, even while fragile from past traumas. Her intention is to show the viewer what it’s like to experience adolescent trauma and how to cope with it.
Through her work, the goal of the artist is to close a sensitive chapter of her life by visualizing and processing the past into her paintings. “When I paint my heroines, the thoughts that run through my mind are intimacy, innocence, loss, and lack of self-worth. They are in constant conflict with one another, protecting themselves from the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations.
The allure of danger is toxic and exhilarating, taunting them, addicting them. They want it all, attention, love, passion, and ultimately betrayal and harm, reminding them that they are nothing but human.” Kováčiková 's work has been shown in Italy, France, Slovakia and United States, among others.
Florine Imo (1995, Austria) is a painter currently living and working in Vienna. Imo studies Figurative Painting in the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where she’ll graduate at the end of the year.
Her techniques reach from pastel drawings to acrylic and oil based paintings to oversized sculptures made from various materials. Her work explores different aspects of femininity whilst highlighting the contrast between soft and sharp, for example through her recurring dog-like figures. The artist focuses on characters and universe building and works on different, continuous series simultaneously. Through her work, she engages in overwhelming patterns, luminous colors, complex vegetation and metaphorical visual language.
Joris Bochman (b. 1985, The Netherlands) studied visual communication at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design.
Currently he divides his time between Brussels and Seville, working as both a graphic designer and a painter. Bochmann draws inspiration from everyday trivialities and popular culture.
His vibrant, figurative works depict slice-of-life situations, exploring themes linked to human behavior, often supplemented with surreal elements and a fair dose of humor.
Valerie Savchits (1993, Latvia) is a multidisciplinary artist and a recent Master's graduate of the University of Brighton, UK.
Savchits' strings her stories, feelings and fragments of memory from then and now just like pearls onto a thread to create her own mythological system.
The inspiration for the artist's work comes from cosmic symbolism, hauntology, gothic aesthetics, manga, anime, video games and different mythologies that play an important role in forming her visual language.
The shapes and the color palette found in surrounding landscapes and architecture influenced her style, both in sculpture and painting. The artist currently lives and works in Kemptown, Brighton.
Kyvèli Zoi (1993, Greece) is a painter and multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Athens, Greece. She completed her BFA at the School of Visual Arts New York City (USA, 2016), after attending classes at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 2014) and Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design (London, 2011-12).
Her work is primarily driven by her research on the human condition, with a focus on cultural and spiritual references. Working mainly through painting, her narratives draw inspiration from the subjects of chance, sacrifice, pathos, and identity. Kyvèli is also the founder of KYAN Projects, an artist residency in Athens (Greece). She was awarded the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Artist Fellowship by ARTWORKS (2021-22). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York, London, Brussels, Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, Naples and Athens, the most recent being: at Callirhoë, curated by Olypmia Tzortzi (Athens, Greece). She has had solo shows in New York, Athens and Napoli, with the next one being in March 2023 at Nevven Gallery (Gothenburg, Sweden).