Adam Šakový (1987) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 2013. He studied in the studio of Klaudia Kosziba, which focuses on painting and its extensions, possibilities, and functions. Reflecting these tendencies, Šakový primarily experimented with depiction, reflection, and perception by the viewers during his studies. Subject matters including play with the viewer's attention, interchange of forms, creating illusions, doubts, and simulations, or bringing up the imperfection of human senses were and partially still are characteristic for his work. During this phase, the core of Šakový's painting portfolio mostly consisted of portraits based on images from his private photographic archive. He approached the works with respect to their visual flaws and defects, making the intimate images filled with flashbacks and memories of the past all the more authentic. Photorealism and hyperrealism have turned into distinctive formal as well as ideological basis of his work. However, with the significant series of sheep portraits entitled Spasené (Redeemed, 2012), the author has fully developed his neo-conceptual thinking within the contemporary painting.

 

During his creative process, Šakový often develops several ideological lines simultaneously, producing seemingly diverse works. He continues to do so even after graduating, but the last two years of his work have shown a significant progress that carries several unifying elements. The author has clearly departed from intimate subject matters and personal archives to a more universal and mature style. He no longer gives us a glimpse into his privacy. Real persons, flashes of particular moments, and latent voyeurism are replaced with universal situations that may at first even appear emotionally devoid. Photography remains present in his works, but only as an aid to create painting compositions that are much more specific and straightforward in comparison to the blurry airbrush paintings. However, the visual simplicity and clarity contrast with the complex ideological background. A significant portion of Šakový's current paintings is formally inspired by and appropriates historicism. The author adopts the scheme, technique, composition, and work with light from Baroque still lifes and portraits, as well as the 19th century portrait paining. This approach can be seen in two ways. On the one hand, Šakový voluntarily gives up his own artistic gesture or unique painting style. On the other hand, however, he legitimately adopts someone else's approach, creating his very own style supported by ideological background, modifications, and conceptual thinking. Thus, Šakový's painting becomes neo-conceptual; the form only remains present as part of the author's strategy, through which he once again plays with the viewer's perception.

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