Visual Soliloquies – Visual self-talks is the title of the exhibition by Stylianos Schicho. It refers to the artist’s inner monologue, to which he exposes himself again and again as soon as he enters his studio in order to offer his thoughts a platform in dialogue with the canvas.
Stylianos Schicho is an observer. His pictures are on the one hand snapshots of the present, on the other hand visions of the artist of a possible future. He shows us people engaged in secondary activities, such as the use of a mobile phone or leisure activities with a game console. The people in Schicho’s pictures often seem lost in thought – somehow removed from reality. The angle at which they are presented to us is also unusual. What is striking is that the subjects are usually depicted from an angle at the top. Schicho makes it clear to us what we already know for a long time or at least have unconsciously taken note of; namely the fact that we are constantly observed by someone, both in public space through surveillance cameras and now also in the private sphere through the Internet, smartphones and social networks.
The glass person, an often used metaphor for this scenario, is the subject of his pictures. The people depicted in Schicho’s pictures usually seem emotionless, lost in thought. They are usually shown at the moment of an irritation in which so much happens in their minds that the body itself is not yet ready to react, apart from the questioning gaze towards the trigger of this state. Schicho says: “In my pictures there always seems to be somehow one person missing in the picture and that is usually the person standing in front of it”. In other words: we, the viewers themselves.
In some of his paintings the artist himself is sometimes depicted, but sometimes he is also represented by a monkey, his alter ego. This monkey symbolizes the rabid citizen and the artist wants to tell us in the truest sense of the word that he no longer wants to be made a monkey. This is also the case in the pictures of the series “Invisible Slotmachine”, in which a monkey, along with various other protagonists, sometimes looks out of the picture. The choice of the representation with the one-armed bandits is of course not random, but consciously to be understood as a criticism of the gambling industry, which especially in times of crisis like these, offers the citizen the prospect of quick money gains, in order to profit even more from the misfortune of those affected.
However, the protagonists in Schicho’s pictures are about to take their fate into their own hands. With the choice of the red button for “STOP!” the decision is also clear. Judging by the facial expressions, the portrayed people also want to make it clear to the observer that they are well aware of the above-mentioned facts, but certainly don’t agree with them.
Text: Lucas Cuturi
Opening on Friday 03 May 2013 at 19 hrs
Duration: 04.May to 03.June 2013
Gallery Kaethe Zwach, Weyregger Strasse 11, 4861 Schörfling am Attersee
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and by appointment by telephone or e-mail.
Phone: +43 – (0) 76 62 – 22 61 E-Mail: [email protected]
Links: www.kunstnet.at/zwach/index.html, www.stylianosschicho.com