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Saša Bezjak is a distinguished Slovenian artist who has carved out a career as an art educator, painter, sculptor and performer drawing upon various materials as mediums for drawings, paintings, sculptures, embroidery, as well as video documents.
The themes of Saša Bezjak’s works relate expressly to intimacy, to interpersonal relationships, to the inner recesses of human physicality, intrinsically abstracted to the primordial, even primitive simplicity. The relationship to physicality, both to one’s own and the Other’s, is therefore most truthfully expressed through primary forms of artistic creation. Through the use of croquis drawing, the artist's apparent "naïve primitivism" turns into a most precious means of expression, exploring eros as a basic human instinct that (according to Freud) crops up for the first time in early childhood and then proceeds to govern our entire lives.
In addition to interpersonal relations, the artist’s relationship with different materials plays an important role in the creation of her works. Subtly employed, these materials elevate building blocks as basic as fabric and thread to the status of artistic products. The artist's drawings are enhanced through the addition of embroidery, a "female invention", by means of which fabric acquires its own added value in the form of an artwork.
The artist often uses recycled materials, including old sheets, tablecloths, curtains, into which she incorporates a drawing, thus breathing new life into discarded material.
While the themes recur, their treatment varies constantly: the artist depicts herself, her family, children, pregnant women, sexuality, sexual intercourse, birth, pain, death. In short, everything related to the act of living. This might make the observer feel uneasy at first, even arouse feelings of embarrassment. The selection of motifs features a typology of couples, thoughtfully and continuously through an unyielding linear thread, from drawing to embroidery. If the basic tone is primarily antagonistic, it is so in stark contrast to what this principle seems to demand of the artist herself: the notion that, despite being done in a naturalistic/primitive/primordial technique, the works of Saša Bezjak evince a strong emotional charge, a revolution of emotions that brims irresistibly over the surface of the depicted line drawing. The life perceived in her works is decadent, full of suffering and passion: we hear screams, we feel lust, we are filled with sadness, passion, love, even motherhood.
Through ‘child's’ drawings, used as a medium for creating narratives, rendering tangible the artist’s experience of the world and expressing her zest for life, we are thus presented with the artist's intimate self-expressions. In laying bare the story, exposing it to the viewer’s gaze, the artist deliberately surrenders herself to spontaneity – and when she withdraws, her stories remain connected to the stories of many women, even if she draws solely on her own, intimate experiences.
Saša Bezjak’s outstanding achievement is the facts that her works focus on humankind, i.e., the act of living, in its most primal form, how it used to be and how it is today – speaking the simple, and therefore overlooked, truth that, despite global warming, wars and migrations, humans will remain forever unchanged in their primal – primitive – form: as emotional, loving and suffering beings.
Human beings, that is.
Nina Jeza, Artists & Poor’s
Love Will Tear Us Apart / Ljubezen naju bo ločila
“When routine bites hard
and ambitions are low
And resentment rides high
But emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways,
Taking different roads
Love will tear us apart again.”
“Love will tear us apart again” (Joy Division)
Saša Bezjak (1971, Maribor), self-employed professional in culture, painter and educator, fine arts professor, visual artist. Since 1993, Bezjak has held various solo shows, participated in group exhibitions, and staged several performances nationally and internationally. Engaged in working with vulnerable groups and a campaigner for gender equality. The themes she explores often involve taboo subjects. Her constant sources of inspiration are contemporary art and child art: they provide motivation for her own art and social interaction. In 2013, the University of Maribor awarded her the title of Asist. Prof. for the subject area of fine arts. She is based in Gornja Radgona
Nina Jeza (Ptuj, 1979) studied art history at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. She wrote her BA thesis, 'Censorship in Contemporary Polish Art', at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Since 2012 she has pursued the career of a self-employed cultural professional, curator and educator. She was a curator for the Media Nox Gallery, then collaborated with the KINA Multimedia Centre in Maribor. She also worked as an Artistic - Programme Director of the international festivals of intermedia art (MFRU, KIBLIX and Pixxelpoint). She is the mastermind behind and organizer of the art-MUS fair and the ArtStorage project. Jeza is a member of the Slovenian Association of Art Critics and the International Association of Art Critics – AICA.
In cooperation with the Slovenian Association of Art Critics.