In this series, Vehabović continues his long-term artistic research of certain mechanisms and phenomena, even lessons, which are present in adventure literature. Motifs characteristic of literary adventure are immediately recognizable – men at sea, ships in storms, vast landscapes, fascinating animals. These scenes, even those lacking a figurative presentation, embody the uncertainty that arises from man’s relationship with nature.
Ecological and social systems are connected via complex adaptive relations and it is becoming clear that numerous eco-systems, once perceived as natural, are actually developing as cultural and ecological systems. Man’s presence is the deciding factor for the transformation of various systems, even when the human figure isn’t physically present. The paintings from this series demonstrate this phenomenon.
By hinting at a content component sovereign to today’s attainments, these paintings become aesthetically familiar to the contemporary viewer. Their quality stems from the artist’s exceptional visual literacy and his work process, wherein he often uses photographs. Vehabović uses those photographs as visual sources and inspiration for his paintings. The photographs are not necessarily the painter’s own – he also selects them from popular media such as movie stills, books, newspapers, magazines or postcards. The photographs embody instances of the remembrance of memories and the artist usually changes them until they reach the state from which elements of the painting can emerge.
Lauba House, Zagreb
Morana Matković and Vanja Žanko
Ministry of Culture of Croatia, City of Zagreb
B1, Večernji list