AF went to the Sunday Brunch Preview on January 6th to view the works of Marin Majic for his epic and lush scenic paintings populated by something quite sinister. Let’s just say at first glance you might think it is a safe painting to get and show your grandmother but you might need to think twice. Upon closer observation you get a surprise that would even make a sailor blush.
The Berlin resident rendered very bucolic fields, verdant green forests, majestic mountain ranges, romantic garden enclaves, and the mighty powerful sea with such skilled mastery in itself that you are drawn to its powerful impact on sight. The scope and edited quadrant of scene that magnified evokes Hollywood like vistas of magazines and snapshots your parents might have taken back in the days. Complexities of color, form and depth make for an eye catching background but somehow he decided to let this be dominant over the human subjects. This is the first act of his “Majic” (apologies for the pun) show.
The second act is a tad hairier and where you get piqued all of a sudden. Majic claims that abject perfection and flawless beauty is not his aim with these current series of paintings. Although his human subjects are idealized and a nostalgic embodiment of a happy cheerful world, their smiling faces, twinkling eyes, neat outfits, every hair in place and unflappability deftly conceals something disturbing. When you come closer to view the human subjects, you will find tiny details that are so wrong. In Father and Son (2012) there are two schoolboys in the garden and boys will be boys but that predatory embrace is not an afterschool special. Hundstag (2012) – a girl carries her beloved pet dog in her arms but the head of poor Fido is hanging under with the tongue sticking out. Baba Roga (2012) is set in a forest where a mother says goodbye to send her little boy off with a kiss but that’s too much love and little Johnny has to get therapy for the rest of his life. Then the very classical seascape of the Excursion (2012) with the ominous looking waves and dark clouds ready to break into a storm as it tosses a boatload of people happy with cakes and all things nice plus party animals literally. They are oblivious to the awesome power and unpredictability that nature can throw their way. It can be the missing scene for the opening credits of Gilligan’s Island before everyone gets marooned. But I prefer to think of it as Titanic waiting to happen for this perverted Noah’s Ark. Each piece is consistent as it dares you to take a closer look.
Marin Majic innovates with his latest oeuvre by making the lush beautiful very sinister in its subliminal details. It is disturbing but hauntingly unforgettable and that makes anyone helpless under its black humor spell.
Marin Majic / On View: January 6 – February 8, 2013
Gallery Hours: Wed – Sun (11am – 6 pm) / Mon & Tue by appointment
Marc Straus. 299 Grand Street. NYC, NY 10002
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Selected Art Images from Marc Straus c/o the artist
Photography by: Jamie Martinez and Poppy Gordon