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Nejc Franetič – Deso & Mustafa: D&M Company

01 February 2016 > 26 February 2016 Kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition "D&M Company" by Nejc Franetič-Deso and Mustafa, on Monday, 1st February, at 8pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery. The exhibition is on display until 26th February, it is curated by Kateřina Lenzová.

The exhibition D&M Company – i.e. group of Deso & Mustafa, presents the works, representing their joint effort as well as their individual projects. The artists share a common interest in self-presentation, but also a certain indifference to public acceptance. Introspectively and with incredible creative deployment, they are discovering one another, even though they work separately. This phase, however, seems to have been bridged. Mustafa belongs - for a couple of years now (literally two) – to the artists whose attractiveness increases with each exhibition and hence the expectation that he´s going to – finally – appear in public in person, is growing. Consequently, it´s even more interesting to follow his development in the context of his work as well as the circumstances that have led to his introduction to the art scene.

On the one hand it’s difficult to classify Mustafa’s works while on the other hand he feels somewhat excluded, not only from the art world, but generally – and it is in this cultural gap that he realizes himself artistically. In 2000, while travelling, he began his endless series of water-colours; quick, sketchy paintings that he was using as material for his street interventions – until 2013 unnoticed by anyone from artistic community. So this show is a little allegory of the beginning of the collaboration between the two artists who have found their way to each other through artistic creation - Deso & Mustafa.

The exhibition is dominated by the portraits of more than two thousand people, whom Mustafa met or could have met on his travels. The series can be viewed as an overview of anonymous people who surround us everywhere, as a kind of a virtual world, abounding with unattainable intimacy, co-existing with us, yet unknown to us, a mere presentment. By a distorted image he allows us to understand the world of non-space, which works more genuinely in its originality, exaggeration and certain non-aesthetics. For 15 years of his artistic endeavours he hasn´t departed from his creative standard – an A4-format paper, watercolours and the very same theme – because of that, he achieves the effect of a raster. A wallpaper of random, nameless passers-by – but with one exception - one among them is known – yet unknown to the world – it’s Mustafa himself.

Younger, but with more experiences in terms of exhibitions, Deso is still moving on the edge of the established art. Hidden in its own small gallery within Alkatraz, he presents a cross-section of works from a wide range of his studio depositary. Elevated beyond the "academic" art rules that – fortunately – he had no chance to get to know and let them confuse him, he gave up on politics and also on sentiment. He sees the chaos as a source and the essence of his style - a depository of experiences & raw, utopian aesthetics of strangeness.

A sequence of fifty paintings is the result of the work of both artists. The authors visually complement each other, not exceeding their egos – they discovered the strategy how to mutually achieve high standards of all low levels.

Even more surprising may seem the reactions and increasing interest of the art institutions – it can also indicate the fact that art is missing something original, wild, existing for its own sake and not for the sake of art as a distinct (in its unclear) and clearly defined entity.

Kateřina Lenzová

Nejc Franetič - Deso (* 1990) is a young self-taught artist. He is devoted to drawing and painting, exceeding the aesthetic ideals. The author has his studio in Rog, in Ljubljana, where he currently lives and works.

Mustafa (*1980) belongs to the scene of personalities who do not consider themselves artists and their potential is waiting to be yet discovered. His activities include painting; mostly he lives and works in Istanbul.

translation by: Lili Anamarija No.
Photos from the opening: Sunčan Stone.

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