Artist: Szabolcs Bozó
Title: Home Again
Venue: L21 Gallery, Mallorca, Spain
Photo: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and L21 Gallery, Mallorca
Perhaps we should start with the beginning to explain the meaning of this exhibition by Szabolcs Bozó… Then we could recount how the screen of the mobile phone was illuminated with a discovery and a private message on Instagram gave birth to a professional relationship with the artist that continues to this day. Perhaps we should emphasize the role that social networks play and how their use can visually empower us, have they not completely changed the way we currently read images and increased the amount of them that glide through our retinas each day? In these uncertain times when human relationships based on proximity have become complex and full of obstacles, networks exert an even greater power: connecting us, entangling us with each other as if we were nodes joined at a distance.
This exhibition has also been built from afar. On the one hand, Szabolcs Bozó working in his studio in London and, on the other, the gallery team creating a space according to the moment the artist is living, building a big but cozy house to which he and his colorful characters could return after so much time. In the repetition there is the difference and one always returns home being different. It’s nice to think how that Bozó who walked through our gallery door in 2018 with a portfolio of extraordinary small drawings, has become today – after many hours accumulated in the studio -, an artist who awakens the interest of so many people.
From those drawings to the large format canvases of this exhibition, some things have not changed. His simple figures are drawn on the canvas extended on the floor, allowing him to press the pencil strongly on the support and make a drawing at high speed, almost like a dance involving the body and the pencil on the canvas. The imaginary characters that are born from this dance end up flooded with primary colours, strong and vibrant, applied with a brush that tries to emulate the rotundity of the previous gesture in the drawing. The painting goes through the canvas at the speed of a Formula 1, making turns and pirouettes.
The stains and footprints that can be seen on the raw fabric, some of them intentional and others product of chance, bring to the whole that magic that always takes us to the moment when, as spectators, we can see ourselves back in time doing what he does: playing as when we were kids. It is possible to draw from these paintings a playful energy that we had already forgotten.
If it is here, in the memory and the game, where the success of the artist’s imaginary lies, it is perhaps because he always sincerely stirs up the forms, shades and colors that appear in front of us. Each of his characters is different, but strangely familiar. Now that they are back home, we feel that happiness that family feels when they have loved ones coming and going away again.
Szabolcs Bozó (1992, Pécs – Hungary) lives and works in London. He has had a solo exhibition at Semiose Gallery, Paris (2020) and a duo show with Richard Woods at L21, Palma de Mallorca (2019). Group exhibitions include ABC Gallery, Budapest (2020); ARCO, Madrid (2020); Ramp Gallery, London (2019) and L21 Gallery (2019). He has participated in The North Hill Residency (Pasadena, CA) and L21xCamper Foundation (Mallorca).