The world of Ilija Gubic is not a small one, nor is it a simple one. He sees his subjects from an almost tunnel vision, blinding out the noises of culture to arrive at the final common defining elements that tie his world with the rest. “Summary of Life” - the Serbian artist’s first show with Qube Gallery - is the result of three years’ work in Kigali (Rwanda) and New York (USA) and offers a unique view of people and their relationships.
Reducing the imagery to a few basic elements, these oil on canvas works present intimate testimonies of everyday hopes, fears and longings. The paintings create meditative spaces where viewers can read and understand harmony, silence and love.
In his depiction of relationships, figures appear on the canvas with quiet emotion on colored background, floating in some unknown territory. It is the “unknown” space or setting that leads viewers to focus on the figures, their poses, or painted facial expressions. Using selective details, Gubic brings the figures to life and make them universal, providing an opportunity for viewers’ individual narratives and interpretations.
The figures that Gubic paints are usually performed in recognizable and visually dramatic forms that represent basic human feelings, passions, instincts, weaknesses, struggles and much more. Highlighting basic human emotions, contacts, and relationships (family, brothers, sisters, mother and child, etc) - that are becoming less common in today's contemporary art.
The artist seems to ask the viewer, “what do you see?”, in a subtly confrontational manner. By studying the painting more, the viewer needs to read deeper into the painting by appreciating the basic elements. Details are in the faces and poses of the figures on each painting.
Gubic departs from his training in architecture, where for each project it is a long process from an initial idea to execution. When creating art, he paints directly on canvas without previously developing schemes and sketches, almost instinctively. As such, he is able to capture emotions as he interprets them and shows the viewers that wherever they are viewing these depictions from, the world is far from simple - but still universal. Indeed, a summary of
Gubic’s life and a summary of our own.