Viz City is happy to welcome a new gallery, “Ben’s Art Space,” to the Eugene art scene. . Right now you can see a fascinating show by Robert Dandarov called “Macedonian Noir.” Robert says Americans often say his work as “dark” or “noirish,” but he sees his work with different eyes:
"To me, it’s very colorful and is connected to ...everything is coming from my childhood in Macedonia. But as I grew up in a country infused with, you know, history, bloodshed, poetry--these old monasteries where I grew up under the Byzantine influence--all this sort of..yeah, it is kind of darkness zipped up in my DNA, my painterly DNA, which I carry with me wherever I go in the world."
Dandarov’s Macedonian Noir is characterized by both a ferocity and a wicked sense of humor. You may think of El Greco, or Goya’s Capricho’s, or closer to home, our own Rick Bartow, full of animal energies and surrealism. His “Self-Portrait” is a masterwork of all these qualities.
"In this particular painting, it’s like me standing in this darkness dark, lone figure, kind of El Greco; doesn’t look like me, but is inside--trying to show my inside, the so-called dark inspiration from there...I’m in front of the easel, and some animals, which are sprouting from my head, which is symbolic of this inspiration, which I carry from there.
"In short, is that dark coming from the subconscious like some dark animal, which we don’t know where it’s coming, where it’s going, and why it’s coming--for me, the painting is a mystery…"
You can visit the “Macedonian Noir” exhibition at the Ben’s Art Space upstairs in Epic Seconds, 30 E. 11th Ave. in Eugene through June 30.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.