“Our culture of forgetting serves those who seem to mind other people’s hard work or success.”
The figure of a pensive , lone walker shrouded in a cloud of cigarette smoke is present in the art of Zoltan Novak almost from the start. This figure is the artist’s alter ego, reduced to a symbol, shown in profile view. He leads us through the city life and activities, often at night, seemingly indifferent, but all the while collecting necessary information that will later be turned into a painting.
In the background of this silhouette different scenes take place, life takes place – couples are making love, people are having a talk or a discussion, they meet, but there are also scenes of violence even murder. The background is where the true narrative of the paintings lives. But it would be wrong to assume that this painter is afraid of showing his own intimacy, especially in the case of his “Self portrait” where he projects a set of symbols which have marked both his artistic and his personal life: the first walker, love, children, house, World Cup…
Novak’s silhouette has extended into the third dimension several times, first in the Kvatrić garage as a part of a group exhibition , and second in the Museum of Arts and Crafts where he had a solo exhibition -the black silhouettes of his walkers, some holding knives , hovered ominously over visitors. Zoltan Novak not only paints a critique of modern society, he also does not shy away from saying that our culture of forgetting serves those who seem to mind other people’s hard work or success.
Today he is fifty years old, his artist monograph has just been published. Many of his older colleagues can remember how, from his first ever exhibition in a then prestigious art gallery Forum , he was seen as a very promising artist. And he did not disappoint, dealing with the subjects of egsistential nature, of human compassion and destiny, thus creating a specific set of symbols.
Zoltan Novak, artist presented in CroatianArt Market, draws inspiration from the movie industry, fine literature like the one of Haruki Murakami, but also from everyday life.
His paintings accurately depict the awkwardness of strangers in a tight space of an elevator, anger of parents on their way to the park to deal with the local drug dealer or the story of a couple wasting their life away sitting in a chair, staring at the TV, where they eventually die.. All wrapped up in a subtle Novak’s melancholy cellophane.