Oľga Paštéková: Blue Time
Julo Binder Gallery
May - June 2023

Displaying current works of Slovak artist Oľga Paštéková (*1984) always involves entering a melancholic, fragile landscape with an often disturbed balance. For a long time she has been building her program consisting of paintings on panels (carved wooden fields) with a very personal appeal. They are challenge about the dehumanized contemporary world and its destructive relationship with nature and other living creatures. Her previous paintings intensively reveal the intuitive, wild and unrestrained power of nature, but also human nature - hence the ravens, wolves, werewolves and the lunatic power of the dark night. This emotional charge is amplified by barely indicated figures – unclear shadows, ghosts, vague outlines of tense bodies. It is a metaphorical and fearless entry into an enchanted forest and and the urban outskirts ...

The actual collection, prepared especially for gallery of Julo Binder in Banská Štiavnica, brings a slightly different voice and visual imagery. The latest cycle of painting is influenced by her residency in Porto, Portugal last year 2022. Strongly inspired by the world of the ocean, huge waves, seagulls, but also by typical blue ceramic tiles (azulejos). Name of the serie Bottom Time (2022-23) is a term of diving world, which means time of descent and start of emergence from the water. The whole series of paintings is submerged into the underwater world, the world of the living ocean, water element and the blue world(l). Here, animals play the main roles - her favorite wolves, dogs, birds, sea monsters and shapes: jellyfish, seagulls, trees, grasses, algae, etc. Almost translucent, floating, or indicated contours of natural shapes appear, evoked as if in a negative, which reinforce omnipresent and poetic blue color. Their sound is enhanced by special technique of cyanotype (photochemical blueprint). However, Oľga Paštéková uses this old photo technique differently – she captures traces of water on the surface of the paper, metaphorically modeling the (under)water world with water drops. It is a continuation of her ongoing series of painting experiments (previously painting with lemon, fire, scratching, tanning, etc.). On the azure background and in this nostalgic "blue velvet" atmosphere, it is possible to spend a pleasant "blue time" in the middle of Olga's works...

b.skid, curator