BLINK // Alex Zelina’s transformed subjects

BLINK is a series of micro-posts that will focus on individual artists. Honing in on select work or works, each post will be a fleeting snapshot of art activity from around the world, one that hopefully inspires and prompts deeper investigations.

The Slovakian artist, Alex Zelina, is often inspired by controversial social phenomena. His creative process usually begins with the selection of a mass-media image he then re-interprets. One of his most recent works, “Boarding” an acrylic on paper, is a powerful example of this process.

Zelina- Boarding
Alex Zelina – „Boarding“ (2013), acrylic paint on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, image courtesy of the artist

Zelina considers photographs to be mere pillars upon which he paints rather than being prior copies. Michaela Pašteková writes: “Photography constitutes a building base for Alex Zelina’s paintings, even though overlaps in his work are difficult to define. Figures emerge on canvas either in a concrete form, or in abstract shapes.” For Zelina there is no need to copy exactly what he sees, but to find a new way to represent it in a new visual language. There is a controversial message in the positions of the painted subjects. While looking at the paintings we are unable to identify many details about the figures. The author blurs their faces on purpose to show a new, unknown aspect, where the visual source does not play a role. Zelina casts his view on the internal and external world of the depicted subjects, where his treatment of bodies, often naked or partially clothed, contrasts with the lack of detail in his absent faces. This is how Alex Zelina visualizes the difference between reality and fiction.


Additional Information

See more work by Alex Zelina:


Blog entry by Zuzana Oravcová in Berlin; Monday, Apr. 29, 2013.


This article is part of our BLINK series, which introduces the practices of artists around the world. To read more BLINK articles, click here.

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