by Suzana Švent
In the current abundance of painting production it might happen sometimes that the painter’s creation cuts through the hollowed-out artistic meander and finds its own path. But the newly-made meander is not dead. Quite the contrary: like the curve in nature is a colourful environment that is home to numerous living creatures, the one in art is the place where many special ideas, and with them images, are born.
Images are born of illusions that co-create our reality. They originate in our emotions, draw inspiration from frozen memories or life experience. And the time comes when what finds it easiest to manifest in them is fear. Fear of the gaze of a stranger, fear of the viewer’s critique, fear of oneself… which manifests in artist’s emotional emptiness, in the woody hand holding a shaking brush, in the grey stare gazing into the distance.
And where to find the power for a confrontation, a fight, a break? The first solution to offer itself is the world of splendour, instant appeal, supposed resistance, fake difference. It presents itself as an anarchic destroyer of reified social relations, seemingly lashing out at dominance relations, glossing old practices over by new ones. But despite all, by being hermetically closed it further limits rather than saves from suppression. It limits and rejects the old, primeval, what was allegedly declared, recycled, processed over and over, yet it remains so crucial, so fundamental, that is keeps returning again and again. What at first sight is unspectacular figural art, boring and unexciting, after a thorough contemplation turns declarative, communicative and socially committed.
Suzana Švent was born in Celje (Slovenia) in 1986. After completing the high school arts
programme in Velenje, she enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO),
Ljubljana in 2005. In January 2014 she graduated in painting – under the supervision of professors Herman Gvardjančič and Sergej Kapus – by defending her thesis “Emancipating the Viewer: In the Chocolate Theatre Of Spectacular Capitalism”, which explores critically the relation between the viewer, art and consumerism.
As a teenager, Suzana Švent studied chess intensely and represented Slovenia at numerous international competitions, also gaining the title of candidate master. In 2003, she became the youth national champion, and in September the same year took 19th place at the European Youth Championships in Budva, Montenegro.