PETER ŽUPNÍK: ANIMA
Peter Župník is considered the most poetic photographer of the „Slovak new wave“, differing from contemporaries in his generation in the manner of his work. He does not stage the photograph, he does not set it into form of a preconceived situation. He seeks snapshots from which he can conjure spontaneous tales, fantastical, playful spells about all manner of things. He seizes a dishevelled reality with an artless clarity close to a game. His creative „ritual“ is seemingly simple: from a mass of a photographic material he gropes for contact-prints which have a tinge of mystery. He enlarges them and is carried away by fantasy: every photograph he touches with a soft, pastel stroke thus creating a unique original. From the same negative a similar artwork never arises – his artistic touch varies them. Župník´s art is difficult to organise chronologically: it overlaps, many times returning to older archived negatives which the author „renovates“ with pastels.
The unique thematic exhibition ANIMA presents animal fairy tales from four decades of creation: the world of animal "ghosts" dominates in pre-painted black & white and digital photography. It is a story about the search for hidden secrets, about the transformation of seemingly ordinary creatures into something other than what they really are. The author states: „These are snapshots from mine and animal life: I slowly replenish them, they appear to me occasionally and in everything ‒ then I approach like a beast and capture an imaginary moment from their lives. The animal world continues to fascinate me, sometimes I feel like I understand it ... "
About the artists
Peter Župník (*1961) is a graduate of the Prague FAMU - Department of Art Photography (with Prof. Ján Šmok). In 1995 he moved to Paris (FR); in recent years he has lived and worked between his native Levoča, Paris and Prague (CZ). He is the author of several photographic and pictorial publications and there have been published books, catalogues and number of professional articles about his work. He creatively collaborated on various projects, including a timeless photographic rendition of the works of Master Pavel of Levoča. His work was processed in the films of Marek Šulík: The Road (2013) and Martin Štrba: The Wave vs. Shore (2014). He has participated in dozens of solo and group exhibitions around the world. Župník's works are represented in many collections at home and abroad, e.g. Center G. Pompidou in Paris (FR), Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne (CH), Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (USA), UPMRUM in Prague (CZ), SNG in Bratislava, Gallery of Spiš Artists and others.
Exhibition curator: Mgr. Lucia Benická - GSA
Production cooperation: Mgr. Mária Šabľová - GSA
Graphics: Mgr. art. Ivana Babejová, ArtD. - GSA
Author Peter Župník about the exhibition: