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About Eduard Zentsik
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Eduard Zentšik is a contemporary Estonian genre-busting artist. In his creative work, he has managed to unite localness with globality, to shatter one’s hope for the result awaited from the artist, to put up a serious façade with ease whilst playing an ironical game with unknown rules and to deceive the spectator in such a way that nobody has noted that.
It is only at first perusal that his self-positioning as “Unknown Artist Zentšik» is an offer for the spectator to believe into the primacy of the art object over the art source. His ironical understatement of his role in the artistic process is not a give-away game, but an honest-to-goodness statement though a wily one.
The main E. Zentšik’s art object is “playing the artist”. The fancied artist deconstructs the philistine notion of commitment to style: the selection of forms varies from the traditional pictorial art to the actionism. The Artist “zentšikizes” each style and trend. Eduard Zentšik presents to the viewer his own version of oscillation in the post-modernism era. With ease, he juggles with methods, habituates trends and adopts styles. Destruction, mixing and aligning of each guise – all this makes the Artist trans-universal.
If Jeff Koons is said to combine the world most beloved style – kitsch- with the world most beloved content – pornography – then Eduard Zentšik has managed to find place for everything reverently loved by the broad public audience. In the hypothetical gallery filled with all manifestations of the Artist, everyone will find something they like. Modigliani’s elongated profiles, Giger’s attractive horribleness, Mucha’s icon-likeness and composition, pre-Raphaelites’ magic, Rothko’s and Pollock’s objectless compositions and obsession with colour. Filigree playing a canon game in the artist’s version creates an amazing balance between the known and unknown, between the common art-space and Eduard Zentšik’s personal style.
The brand of “Unknown Artist Zentšik” is well known in his native region of the North-Eastern Estonia. The participant of a whole number of presentations, the facilitator of young artist exhibitions, populariser of the contemporary art process, a guest at any important event, a photographer, sculptor, an installation artist— all these make the Artist an easily recognizable figure in the local environment.
Caught by the pandemic 2020, the Artist admits that he does not understand and does not see a clear-cut way for further Artist’s coexistence with Chronos and virus. However, the crisis does not impede his keeping on art-study in the framework of his tried-and-tested principles.
A series of symbolic digital retro-manipulations makes use of the methods well known to the Artist’s followers. Among those are blurring the boundaries between the artistic and the illustrative, expedience of the representation in both museum frames and a book cover format, a skillful aesthetic mashup of archival photographs and medieval illustrations. The new works feature the theme of the “pause and focus adjustment” displayed to its fullest degree.
The other side of Zentšik’s actual manipulations lies in creating the foretaste of the loss of a signal. The sensation of TV or radio white noise is achieved by using dots, figures, symbols, glitches — a recurring insignificant pattern superimposed onto an image. Reflexively, the spectator “tries to tune the picture”.
The post-pandemic world will demand from artists to rediscover themselves anew and to reinvent hottest new methods: Unknown Artist Zentšik is already in the on-going changeover process.
Painter, photographer, graphic artist, designer, author of installations, performances and musical improvisations. Organizer of youth exhibitions and projects. For over years of creativity had more than a hundred personal exhibitions and took part in numerous joint projects. Participant and winner of international Photographic and Art competitions. Numerous works are in private collections around the world. Member of the Estonian Association of Artists.
Mikhail Komashko, art critic