The exhibition Pink Feng Shui subtitled Images, Rituals, Regressions provides a partial review of the art practice of painter Andrej Brumen Čop spanning over almost thirty years, while also offering a broader insight into the development of the LGBT movement in the Slovenian arena through key literary works. The artist is preparing a diverse literary evening with selected guests especially for this occasion.
By breaking down his practice into thematic sections (images, rituals and regressions) Andrej Brumen Čop highlights his different areas of interest, from painting to the ancient skills of spatial planning, eastern religions, music and literature. He treats the space according to the principles of feng shui. The complete installation at the Račka Gallery is therefore conceived as a sensual spatial formation, interweaving various elements from the images on very fragile paper supports, to the barely visible drawings on the edges of the walls, to larger paintings, rough photocopies, live events, as well as ongoing additions to the exhibition. The exhibition presents works from the artist’s extensive oeuvre, where the male body is positioned centrally, either directly or through metaphor and symbol. It is a fundamental motif, presented through many viewpoints; as a source of observation and experience, an object of desire and suffering. It appears through the symbolic displays of flora and fauna, connections to Greek and Christian mythology, and through scenes of daily life. The artist presents it as the wound in connection with the mythology St Sebastian. As the source of admiration, through the painted image of Apollo Belvedere, wrapped in a red backdrop. Symbolically it is shown in the mischievous and playful image of Prongs, and directly in the Great Big Lingam piece as a monumental sexual organ. It is manifested in places through barely visible watercolour drawings, in which we observe soft, abstracted silhouettes, outlines, traces of events. The viewer must come up very close in order to perceive the softness of the background and the gentleness of the line in the expansive whiteness. A series of horizontally arranged black-and-white photocopies of prints of buttocks comes as a contrast to the barely perceptible drawings.
Drawing is an important element of the art practice of Andrej Brumen Čop as this is one of the artist’s basic rituals and a means of focusing his thoughts. It is exactly through drawing that he expresses his understanding of art as inseparable from life. He constantly records his personal experiences, real or conjured up images, noting his impressions, memories. He has been making sketches on A6 cards and envelopes continuously for several years. The Mandalas series of drawings stands out particularly in this aspect, where the relationship between the external and the internal is translated by the artist through patterns and diagrams.
Literature exerts a significant influence on his work. He frequently incorporates the literary works (although he also writes himself) that have had an influence on him into his artworks in various ways (Roses by Jean Genet). He subtly expresses the experiencing of his own identity through poetry, entitled notes. These will be presented to the public for the first time through a video piece at the exhibition. In addition, Andrej Brumen Čop also works in illustration. Especially valuable are the illustrations that accompany the picture book by Brane Mozetič entitled Dihurlandija. The picture book will also be on sale during the course of the exhibition.
With its wide range of works, the exhibition Pink Feng Shui activates the various senses and offers a unique experience. It invites the viewer to visit again and again since it is in a process of constant change, also supplemented by live events.
Curator: Maja Hodošček
Andrej Brumen Čop (1967) completed his postgraduate studies in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He undertook further study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He is currently teaching at the Department of Fine Art Education at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana. He has presented his work in many solo exhibitions (Blind Mice, Greta, Zagreb, 2014, Blind Mouse, Galerija Meduza, Koper, 2012, Roses for Jean Genet, Zaklonišče II, Ljubljana, 2012 …) and group shows (Hunting Narratives, UGM, Maribor, 2016, Art Liberates/Kunst macht frei, Equrna Gallery, Ljubljana, 2014, Materiality, Kibla Portal, Maribor, 2013 …). His works are held in numerous collections (Maribor Art Gallery, International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana, Nova Gorica City Gallery …). He lives and works in Ljubljana.