Urban icons

Martina Roetlingova, Air-in

Painting and graphics are the art mediums to which the young creative tandem Martina Roetlingova and Matus Matatko gives preference in their joint exhibition at the Arosita gallery in Sofia. Their Urban Icons exposition may be seen until 2 March. The Slovak artists have created most of the works during their one-month stay in Sofia. Martina and Matus draw inspiration not so much from the cultural and historical heritage of Sofia but rather from the pulsating urban life, modern architecture, stray animals and current social and public issues.

The matter, as recreated by Martina Roetlingova, is frequently imitated to perfection, the technique is mastered to the extent reminding of realism and hyperrealism. This effect, similar to a filter, evokes associations with city smog - one of Sofia's sore problems. The environmental theme is present also in other of her works shown at the exhibition.

Against the background of soft and hushed tones and relatively static canvasses and drawings of Martina Roetlingova, the symbolic references, images styled in black and white, uniform tones of Matus Matatko stand out a mile. His artistic language is pronouncedly stylised and the main image-constructing elements are the bright, deep colour and distinct lines. Matus is attracted by myths, the cult of the political and pop idols, he often snickers at them without lapsing into vulgarity, just winking at his viewers as if in jest.

Martina Roetlingova graduated from the Academy of Arts in Banska Bystrica where she majored in painting, and she specialised in painting and graphics in Lecce, Italy. Apart from the classic painting and graphics, she works with photographs, installations and objects.

Matus Matatko graduated in graphics and illustration from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. He did his postgraduate studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. He also took part in numerous joint exhibitions in Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland, Great Britain, China and Japan.

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