Ambiguity is a notion that many of us struggle with now and again. In an age where information is readily accessible in an instant and our questions and desires are satisfied by a tap of a finger, ambiguity is seen as something as a nuisance.
Balint Zsasko - a Brooklyn based artist is able to take the notion of ambiguity and playfully incorporate it into his works on paper. By creating open-ended subject matter, he evokes the viewers past narratives, ideology and experiences on the paints.
Nestled away from the busy crowds of Queen Street West, Birch Contemporary hosts Balint Zsako’s: Blood Orange exhibition which runs until October 14th.
At first glance, the simple human figures and vibrant colours catch your eye immediately. Contrasting rich blues, warm yellows and oranges entices the eye. With the figures and shapes overlapping one another displays the flatness of the work. Despite the flatness, the overlapping colours create an intriguing subject for the eye. There is no need here for fervent brushstrokes and violent splats to capture ones attention. They are simply elegant in their simplicity.
Blood Orange is an exciting exhibition because it captivates the viewer initially by its subdued beauty and then upon closer inspection shows something more sinister. The artist himself explains:
"Blood Orange is a series of paintings that examine questions of control and self-determination. With these works I want to look at these complicated contemporary issues through the representation of converging bodies.”
These issues are open ended. Zsasko plays upon the viewer’s experiences to create a dialogue. These images can bring up memories of bullying, racism, our current political landscape – you name it. What comes to mind when I see these sorts of images – Freudian theory, the artist Marcel Dzama, a re-emergence of (what I would call) neo-dadaism forming to come to terms with our absurdity of the reality and a long tradition of surrealism and collage. Might be my art background but these are one of the many interpreations to be taken from Zsasko’s wonderful watercolours.
If you want to escape the noise and constant sight of cranes and condo’s, noisy down to the quiet street of Tecsumseth and lose yourself a little bit to Balint Zsasko’s work.