Subtlety of searching: between the form and content
The academic painter Boris Zaplatil entered the Slovenian art scene in the early eighties as a member of the Generation 82, which was successful in bringing many new features, approaches and views to the fore through its dynamism. These elements were enhanced with concepts generated by the development of artistic ideas in the years towards the end of the nineties. A shift in the work of art from the object to space, situation, ratio and to social space, and the importance and new role of technologies can be observed, and the huge impact of media and the dominating interest in media images and the problems of perception can be felt. Lacan’s theory on the gaze and Merleau-Ponty’s theory of perception, both of which had contributed to post-modern painting, became important. In recent years, painters have seen and experienced painting and paintings very differently. It is important that a painting is no longer linked to a specific form or content. This view is shared by Boris Zaplatil who says: ”The substantive aspects of my paintings are at the boundaries of literature. My world of motives is rather diverse.” And he continues that his view is often “focused on urban spatial planning, and therefore the relationship between nature and geometry. I express myself through vivid shades of colours and tiny details as they are what I see the most in my world.”
Painting, therefore, offers a variety of truths and is not committed to just a particular view. A painting addresses different issues, and it researches, depicts and frequently expresses with a wide range, from trying to understand its own ontology and ideologies in painting, art and in society, asking about the personal and intimate, to exploring materials and structures and often problems associated with social spaces. And Boris Zaplatil’s works can be a part of this post-media image which is tied neither to a particular form nor content, but emphasising that he developed his own perspective and attitude and with his original and complex artistic expression he has been recognised as an artist with a personal note. He is one of the artists distinguished by a talent for optical and tactile expression and respect for a line, form, colour, substance and space and whose flirting is not stopped at a painting, sculpture or drawing but is also enriched with the challenges of new artistic practices which do not affect the core of his artistic expression, though. It could be pointed out that he persists and builds on the findings which are contained in the words of Henri Focillon: “Art is made by hands. They are a tool of creation but first they are an organ of getting familiar.” And his hands create and manifest what has been written deep inside him. Since, as Merleau-Ponty stated, a painter’s job is “some necessity exceeding all other necessities”, and a painter is “strong and weak in life, yet indisputably dependent on his ruminating over the world”. And this undoubtedly also defines painter Boris Zaplatil.
Zaplatil’s artistic expression spans from painting to sculpture, which offers numerous possibilities for multi-layered manifestations filled with the vividness of colours, an exceptional sense for detail and composition along with diverse surface gravitating into the third dimension conveying a rainbow of messages and addresses: having a bird’s eye of the world perceiving nature and architecture enriched with the stories offered by the life and many written records; experience and thoughts coming through between people travelling and meeting each other, between streets and squares; eyes gazing into the distance where the sea and the sky blends, into the meadows and trees; a chat at the table or during strolls in city centres; playing in a wheat field and gazing at the Moon. The stories which he has experienced in his daily life or read about in books.
Substantive hints stir our imagination, search for and offer comparisons and associations. The hints are trapped so that the surface vibrates in a well-designed game of geometrically stressed elements which are discarded or wasted, industrially processed or written off but selected, used, remodelled, revaluated, added, positioned and glued by the painter’s hand into well-thought and aesthetically perfected compositions which address us with their textures and colours. In addition to form, colour is an important element of art and enhances the painting to include a colourful, interesting and variegated manifestation of the painter’s view which, as Merleau-Ponty would say, gives “visible existence to what seems to be invisible in everyday existence” as the painter’s view is “continuous emergence”. It is the creation of something new and different every time. But always rising from the depth of the artist’s essence. From his inner self. His view is intertwined with his favourite colours: blue for consolation, green – because it can be dull, and red which is evocative of fire. And of love and passion. Therefore, recurring new cycles, new sculptures and paintings are created, which complete and complement Zaplatil’s artistic quest.
The following eloquently titled works, which were created between 2012 and 2015, have been selected for the current exhibition held in the Knights’ Hall: Endless Sea, Bank Burnt Down, Red Fishing Nets; Yellow Lagoon, Green Oasis, Geometry of Light and Sea … works full of playfulness and diversity which address us with optimism, quaintness and well-thought organisation and with a pronounced character of colourful glow and proportionate forms. All this along with the message that the artist has been committed to for decades: to be original and all-embracing within himself. Striving to surpass himself and convert the world into a painting.
The academic painter Boris Zaplatil was born on 23 April 1957 in Ljubljana. After graduating from the Ljubljana High School of Design in 1975, he worked at the academic painter Janez Boljka’s studio and the design studio of the architect Peter Skalar. In 1978 he continued his education at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, receiving his diploma in 1982 under Professor Gustav Gramuš. He then completed a specialised course at the same academy and under the same professor. In 1981 he received the Prešeren Award for Students.
Since 1979, he has held numerous solo exhibitions, which include: 73 individual exhibitions, as well as participation in 130 group presentations and 44 international fine arts colonies in Slovenia and abroad. In 2000 he provided consultancy services to Hypo Banka in Ljubljana for the selection of an art collection, and in 2000 and 2002 he served as the artistic director of the Imprima Gallery in Ljubljana.
He has received eleven awards and accolades for his work. He lives and works as a freelance artist in Ljubljana.