Zoltán Béla b. 1977
Zoltan Béla (b. 1977) graduated from the University of Arts and Design in Cluj becoming best known for his hyper-realistic paintings with influences from the Cluj School of painting. Several years ago, he took the decision to shift his artistic practice towards experimentation, scrutinizing the limits between figurative and abstract painting, object making and installation. The artist now lives and works in Bucharest, where he explores the urban landscape of rust, patterns and textures – mapping out a fragmented history of human habitation in Eastern Europe. His latest series layers heavy textures inspired by remnants of old gates, walls and doors unto fragile surfaces of acrylic on paper. Their essential ambiguity encourages allusions, which range from the metaphysics of the fragment to questions of evanescence and memory.
Béla’s paintings bear the mark of antithesis, sometimes as a therapy to purge inner fears, sometimes as a mirror of reality. Their essential ambiguity encourages allusions, which range from the metaphysics of the fragment to questions of evanescence and memory. The artist often brings into play disturbing mise en scènes that question the fragile boundary between reality and fiction, materiality and incorporeality, immobility and motion, invisibility and absence. The representation of time is the very essence of his work – the air seems to contain it, recording the memory of its ephemeral traces and inducing a state of both contemplation and alertness.
His purified and mysterious visual universe pays particular attention to composition, light and contrasts and explores the depth of the details, rather than the effect of the whole and the solitude of the human being, while facing the after-effects of a historical turn.