Iztok Šmajs-Muni - The Critique

Iztok Šmajs-Muni is an extremely original and intriguing Slovenian Abstract Expressionist artist, whose work vibrates with vivid lyricism. Both his monochromatic pen and pencil drawings or his vivaciously coloured paintings, have the magical quality of being more than the sum of their formal or colouristic parts. One has the feeling, when facing Iztok’s art that beyond the surface there are immense possibilities of perception and interpretation.
 
The dynamic sense of movement and the interlacing yarns of colour that weaved together form a chromatic weft of fabric, or the minute abstract signs and scratches of ink that create an apparently chaotic pattern, together with the frenetic rhythm created by these intricate and delicate lines, give us a perfect illusion of space which we are inexorably drawn into; like a lens closing up on a focal point, it gets closer and closer until we lose our sense of perspective and contact with the world around us. It’s as if nothing existed outside of our microscopic vision.
 
In this universe, Iztok’s universe, the world is a profusion of minute details ever moving and interconnecting at various levels of depth, in an organised chaos of sorts. Once drawn into this nuclear dimension the colours and lines distract and disorient us; we are captives in our own tunnel vision. But the more we look, the more we see and we realise that we are not alone in this sensory experience, there are forms and beings inspired by Iztok’s pens and brushes but created by our minds, as if he were reading into our deepest recesses and mirroring our subconscious in a communion of the creative process between the artist and the viewer.
 
Umberto Eco said: “What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible”, and art to make it visible. If it weren’t for the finite means, the limits, the confines of the board, the canvas or the paper, on which Iztok chooses to draw or paint, we would finally understand the ultimate concept and be lost in infinity.
 
Karen Lappon
International Confederation of Art Critics