A Cyber-Machine – Corps Sans Organe, 2008
Robert Šimrak (1967) is a representative of postmodernist high-tech painting and graphic art. His high-level execution questions hypnotic consumerism and futuristic visions at the crossroads between high and popular culture. Using shrewd correlations, he critically observes the world which is structured according to and around globalised hegemonic liberal capitalism. His Pop Art and dystopian visualisations make references to reality, literature, film and comics. Šimrak graduated in 1992 in graphic art under Prof. Ante Kuduz from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he has been teaching since 1995, and where in 2014 he became a full professor. He was the president of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists between 2001 and 2003, when he coordinated the demanding renovation of the Meštrović Pavilion, the seat of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists. He received his PhD from the University of Zagreb in 2018. He has been exhibiting his work since 1989 at some forty solo exhibitions in Croatia and abroad, and at more than three hundred group exhibitions. In 2009, he received the Josip Račić Award for best solo exhibition given yearly by the daily Vjesnik. Šimrak’s art of high, eclectic Postmodernism tackles questions of today’s world collapsing under multimedia cacophony. He raises the question of the way in which the concept of painting can be re-established after the experience of our networked world, technological innovations and the world of spectacle. Šimrak’s A Cyber-Machine – Corps Sans Organe light box from 2008 creates the impression of a universal retro-futuristic cyberspace, in which the cyber-machine is constructed as a new-world hologram of a toxic light-and-metal virtuality of sorts which resembles a vision of a scene from a dystopian science fiction movie.
Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb