Damir Širola, Metamorphoses

From July 2nd to September 1st at the Josip Račić Gallery the National Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition by Damir Širola named Metamorphoses. According to the concept of NMMU museum consultant and exhibition curator Željko Marciuš, about twenty photomontage collages from the artist's recent cycle of the same name were selected for the presentation. Among other things, Marciuš writes about Širola's new project in the preface of the bilingual accompanying catalog: (...) Širola’s new photographic project, Metamorphoses, consists of photomontage collages or layered photographs that create a new polarised image transcending realism into the supernatural and surreal, provoking the observer with skewed dreamscapes that paradoxically document (sur)realism through a combination of multiple cut-outs and cropped photographic prints. The driving idea is to explore the boundaries of accepting new photo-images previously unknown and impossible in reality, preserving experiential facts in time, space, and a (multi)meaningful duality based on projections for both the observer and the artist, marked by certain photographic anagrams and changes in the nervous system. This is the effect of cropped photographs whose original form disappears while simultaneously creating a new image, a new dynamic visual interplay in the constant flow of the observer’s gaze. Photographs for this series were produced through a rapid and tactile process of selecting parts, adjusting scales, utilising fields, and merging them into a new scene. Throughout the creative process, the artist minimises the use of Photoshop and other post-production tools to keep the idea and process of creating photographs visible. This approach avoids artificially manipulating the observer’s senses. All hybrid photographs are composedfrom parts of the artist’s previously captured images. (...)

Artist's Biography
Born in Zagreb in 1960, he has pursued photography since an early age. He has participated in around twenty group and club exhibitions and has organised eleven solo exhibitions in Zagreb and Varaždin. In addition to his own creative photography, he has produced numerous catalogues for other artists, covers and illustrations for about ten books, and technical documentation for industrial purposes. Since 2013, he has been living in Varaždin. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU) Varaždin and the Čakovec Art Association.

Photo: Damir Širola's hybrid photos from the Metamorphoses cycle, created during 2023 and 2024 from parts of the author's previously taken photos.

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