The Subtle Eroticism of A Photographic Story – photography exhibition by Stanko Abadžić

Today 30th April 2018 at 18h, opening of photography exhibition “The Subtle Eroticism of A Photographic Story” by Stanko Abadžić, Бартcелона gallery, Belgrade Design District

The Subtle Eroticism of A Photographic Story

Stanko Abadzic’s engagement in the medium of photography (taken up at the age of fifteen, pursued professionally since 1995) provides excellent evidence to the artistic, technical and technological possibilities of the photographic mode of expression. He achieves exceptional vividness and appeal through an authentic aesthetic dimension, visual clarity, legibility and powerful communicational dialogue. After the photographic collections based on city motifs (Prague, Paris, Berlin, Zagreb), he has focused his perception on the beauty and harmony of the female body. In Nudes, he has elevated it to the level of perfect visual form. There are three important aspects of his approach to the subject of the female nude: ordinary girls (not professional models) are posing for him, there is no styling or pronounced application of make-up, he makes no use of artificial lighting. In this personal, subjective photographic story he speaks about the ideal of beauty, about the enticing and the seductive in its natural intimacy and identity, about a woman’s nakedness which is not unseemly, about fanciful values, a subtle eroticism and a refined sensuality, but not in the manner of stereotypical photoshopped advertisements of populist media. As a separate fact he imposes a particular register of black and white tones, a treatment of daily light, and an atmosphere of refined sfumatos.

The nudes emanate, above all, a relation of light and shadow, taken over by photography from painting: skilful use of exclusively natural lighting which sheds soft light on the figures, fluid tonal shades and gradations of light, soft unfolding into space, insertion of shadows in the mild slopes of the body, tangibility of surface and the body’s almost polished smoothness, tectonics of the frame, artistic aestheticization focused on ambiance and minute details. He almost ascribes more importance to the invisible, to that which the camera has miraculously registered in the deep, impenetrable shadows.

Meticulousness and deliberation are invested in the frames of all photographs. He gives a great deal of thought to the right and genuine moment of activity in the frame: the singling out of details in the geometricized background of the photograph, the contrasting of light and dark parts, the affluence of optic effects, picturesque surfaces and textures, the emphasizing of gracile positions of the woman in intimate interiors or in nature (most often on a sand beach by the sea). He tackles the same problems as the painters: light, composition, fitting arrangement of space and the human figure in space (which he treats almost as a sculptor, with an exceptional feel for the moment and for details). His logic is to provoke tension, but we easily recognize a taste for tranquil intimate accords, for metaphysical peace and quiet. What a master he is at transforming the central motif of the female nude and the surrounding space into silence! We do not see the author, but we feel that he is also in the frame.

Abadžić’s line in new Croatian art photography is characterized by an almost scientific precision, fascination with beauty, and belief that photography both records and transforms reality. Nudes is one his most attractive collections. It is a project with a guiding line, one that encompasses an integral story, vibrancy and a firm viewpoint. And it evokes aesthetic judgement. Still, its ultimate goal is systematic construction of a distinct creative personality, and so the nudes are not only representations of the beauty and sensuality of the female body. They are, first and foremost, facts of the author’s distinct expressiveness, of the calm, strict and perfectionist visual aesthetics of black and white relations resolved only in the encounter of light and shadows. The glamorous impressionistic imagery affirms that his creative poetic quality ranks among the very finest in the medium of photography.

Branka Arh