Slovak Visual Arts Prominent Personalities

Pavel Pop

the academy-trained graphic artist and painter
Pavel Pop
Pavel Pop
( 1. December 1948 )

The academy-trained graphic artist Pavel Pop was born on the 1st of December, 1948, in Stara Pazova (Serbia). Within his artistic work, he develops a concept that was named imaginative realism by the expert critique. He took a degree in graphics on The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 1975. He has been a member of the Association of the Artists of Vojvodina (ULUV) since 1977. As a student of remarkable artists Albin Brunovský and Vincent Hložník, he developed his artistic poetics that is dominant within the contemporary graphic art in Slovakia.

Pavel Pop fills his graphic sheet in intaglio printing (typically etching) with virtuoso drawing style of the great artists which he had mastered extraordinarily, and by means of which he creates timeless, oneirical visions placed in an excitingly, harmonically stirred up, unreal space of a picture.

Pop’s graphic sheets have a modern, but also a traditionalist, which means, postmodern emphasis. On them, we recognize the stylistic features of mannerism, the elements of neo-surrealism, but it seems that it is actually all about a romanticizing conception, where imagination is, after all, most important. In addition, it is noticeable that the author is familiar with other artistic and historical movements. For example, on the graphic sheets with luxuriant form-formational lines, we notice the baroque verve and the renaissance tone on some faces.

The graphic art of Pavel Pop does not go far from the figural presentation. The dominant motive on his free graphic sheets is a female nude, or a female figure, typically presented in a fragmentary way. The presence of a woman on Pop’s pictures we can observe from the point of the traditional symbolism. His contemporary female figures have a certain mythical, primordial, mysterious expression. So women, the central part of Pop’s art, should be considered in the sense of the eternal feminine, in the sense of the feminine cosmic principle, towards which our longing for the transcendent is directed.

A woman is the symbol of the instinctive, irrational forces, and according to some thinkers, this is the reason why she is closer to the soul of the world and primordial forces of the universe. The female beauty on Pop’s graphics develops on the primordial fertility of a woman, which means that the erotic content of Pop’s graphic sheets should be considered in that primordial sense.

So, on the graphic sheets of Pavel Pop, what is typically created from the virtuoso restless line are the fragments of precisely defined, plastically modeled shapes of women, whose beauty fits the taste of the bygone times. This fact is the confirmation of the statement that Pavel Pop often goes back in the past in his artistic work, taking in the spirit of postmodern tendencies the citations from the history of art on the level of the content or expression, and innovationally adjusting them to his graphic compositions.

Pavel Pop brings innovations in the composition of his graphic sheets also. He explains the artistic narration of the same content and the same graphic kind individually, in squares and rectangles, which interrelate. This is actually about multiplying the possibilities of the simultaneous presentation of the several temporal and spatial levels of the action. The use of the basic geometrical shapes like the circle, the symbol of eternity and the sky, the triangle, the symbol of the sphere of the spirit, and the square, the symbol of the earth and nature, should be considered as the additional component of the hidden meanings and the allegorically-associative meanings of what is presented.

His virtuoso drawing style comes into play fully in his series of drawings with ink, inspired by and named after the graphics of Francisco de Goya- Desastres de la Guerra.

Goya’s supernatural but above all humanistic, anti-war, artistic expressions as a subject and a challenge gained a new contemporary reinterpretation and remodeling in the spirit of Pop’s poetics of imaginative realism on the 17 drawings.

Pop’s extraordinary drawing capabilities enable him to fully present his inner world. The aestheticized restlessness of his graphic sheets always creates a harmonic beauty and mysterious harmony of the figural and non-figural, and the real and unreal.

The paintings of Pavel Pop seem to have been created as a consequence of the 20th century, the era of breaking atoms. Those are the pictures of a bang and dissolution, so they perfectly correspond to the spirit of the time in which they were created. Pavel Pop’s big canvases are typically covered with neutral or cold colours in the background of a painting, where due to the use of intense, vivid colours in the middle of a painting, the whirlwind process of dissolution or birth is taking place. (Birth and dissolution in their essence and in their visual expression are very much alike). The paintings of Pavel Pop were created with a wide and dynamic movement of the brush, with numerous smooth tones of certain colours, and as far as classification is concerned they belong to the rich tradition of the abstract expressionism. Only few pictures are an exception, and those are the pictures on which the figure appears, or the examples from Pop’s “classical” portrait art.

Pavel Pop, the graphic artist of a virtuoso drawing style, is also an extraordinary painter.

In his latest artistic work- during 2008, Pavel Pop has dedicated himself to the series of the drawings-portraits dedicated to the world’s greatest artists and their most famous works.

Vladimir Valentík
See also:

Pavel Pop (artwork gallery)