Bojan Hocevar (DE)

Text written by GHA

Bojan Hocevar’s paintings portray a reality of anonymous characters slashed by sinister and surreal details. Challenging sociocultural settings with contradicting symbols, the artist infuses his bright but fading world with dark irony.

Experimenting with different media, Croatian painter Bojan Hocevar creates figurative paintings by combining human subjects to a fantastic background. The protagonists are often anonymized by blurring their facial features or covering their faces in different ways.

The human subjects and the background are usually painted with striking, contrasting palettes. In many of Hocevar’s paintings, the figures tend to be depicted using darker and more faded tones, whereas the background is painted with vibrant colours and patterns.

Bojan Hocevar

The contrast between subjects and background is further emphasized, as the three-dimensional figures are silhouetted against more flattened backgrounds with abstract elements. These are characterized by surreal details and elements of fantasy, which create an overall dreamlike setting.

In his artworks, Hocevar seems to refer to children’s enchanted worlds of fantasies which blur the distinction between reality and the imaginary. Kids seem to be both the subjects of his artworks as well as the creators of the work itself, since the colourful backgrounds are evoked and created by their imagination. The dreamlike atmosphere of Hocevar’s paintings is emphasized by the use of airy brushstrokes that make his pictures appear slightly blurred, reinforcing the impression of a surreal reality. 

Hocevar’s paintings illustrate bittersweet words where both irony and melancholy surface through contradictory elements. The contrasting palettes convey a retro tone to Hocevar’s characters, whose colourful and imaginary words seem on the brink of disappearing. The viewer is confronted with fun and playful images where strong shadows and darker tones lurk around. Hocevar works, full of contrast and contradiction, seem to present the clash of reality and fantasy, holding onto a fragile, imaginary world threatened by the loss of innocence.  

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