Michal Mráz

Michal Mráz

Bratislava, Slovakia

About Michal Mráz

Michal Mráz (1987) is a self-taught painter. Despite studing at the department of sculpture (studio of Prof. Meliš and Doc. Hoffstadter) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, painting has become the main medium of his artistic expression. His earlier work focused on a microcosm of urban spaces, derelict urban areas, dark hooded figures of protagonists of a street art community who, hiding their identity just like dark knights, wander through cities leaving their personal messages in the form of tags or graffiti.
In his practice Mráz cleverly mixes together the world of street culture and high art. This approach is reflected also in his technique - a combination of traditional oil and acrylic painting with stencils. His work is formally and thematically hybrid, often combining incongruous elements into one whole.
His older as well as latest work is characterised by a multiple-level narration. The intensity of his paintings lies within the simultaneous impact of the whole on the eye of a viewer; that restlessly wanders from one motif to another unable to "žcease". The restlessness, or some kind of inner uncertainty related to an impossibility to grasp (decode and understand) a seen reality oversaturated with visual noise refers to themes present in Mráz`s new series of paintings: his fascination with globalization, with society based on principles of consumerism ruled by systems controlling our knowledge as well as the life of an individual in public and private sphere alike. Furthermore, he draws inspiration from conspiracy theories, which he further mystifies and uses his own artistic modification and re-contextualization of selected visual motives to disturb the system based on the grounds of financial control. His iconography comprises of different visual components such as newspaper and magazine photographs (mainly LIFE magazine), film shots and internet. Mráz remixes and combines these motives adjusting them to his own subjective and artistic account with an ambition to provide a critical reflection of the state of society. In his paintings a criticism of current socio-economic systems, a financial crisis, as well as a crisis of moral values, is often juxtaposed with a similar moment in history - the Great Depression. Nevertheless, Mráz doesn`t intend to be a messenger of the apocalyptic visions. The existing skepticism and weakness to change, or partly rectify the status quo, is in his works balanced with positive themes such as everyday pleasures of happy families living their American dream or nature. It is the latter one that the author perceives as a catharsis, a place where a man can be purged of negativities of controlled society. Analogically to the nature of today`s reality, the complexity of the whole prevents us from capturing the big picture and we are left with only partly decoded fragments, which sometimes don`t necessarily create a meaningful, on logic based principles, narrative jigsaw. But such is the world we live in. Michal Mráz is a visual DJ remixing various motives and genres, and shifting original stories into new, often surprising contexts with endless possibilities of reading.
text by Katarína Slaninová

Education

2003-2007 study Shool of applied arts in Bratislava (Slovakia)
2007-2009 study Academy of fine arts and design in Bratislava,atelier J.Melisa
2009 study Academy of fine arts and design in Bratislava,atelier J.Hoffstädtera

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions :
2016-Time loop,Kirk Gallery,Aalborg,Denmark
2016-Decadence,Galerie ALB Anouk Le Bourdiec,Paris,France
2015-Overloading,Čin Čin gallery,Bratislava,Slovakia
2014-Disturbed,Čin Čin gallery,Bratislava,Slovakia
2013-Upstream,Gallery 23%,Bratislava,Slovakia
2012-Away from the system,Gallery X,Bratsialava,Slovakia
2011-The world is yours,European Center of Arts,Bratislava,Slovakia

Art Fairs:
2017-Art Miami (represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery)
2017-Scope Art Show Miami (represented by Kirk Gallery)
2017-Art Market Budapest (represented by Cin Cin gallery)
2017-Art Paris Art Fair (represented by Galerie ALB)
2017-North Art Fair (represented by Kirk Gallery)
2017-Art Wynwood (represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery)
2016-Context Art Miami (represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery)
2016-Art Copenhagen (represented by Kirk Gallery)
2016-North Art Fair (represented by Kirk Gallery)
2016-Art Paris Art Fair (represented by Galerie ALB)


Group exibitions :
2017-Interiority,Charlie Smith London,London,UK
2017-Mix 2017,Kirk Gallery,Aalborg,Denmark
2017-Time&Place,Robert Fontaine Gallery,Miami,US
2016-L’ART A DÉCIDÉ DE MA FAÇON DE VIVRE,Galerie ALB Anouk Le bourdiec,Paris,France
2016-Out in the open,Kirk Gallery,Aalborg,Denmark
2015-Versus the world,Kuratorium gallery,Warsaw,Poland
2015-Cabane Georgina,Marseille,France
2015-DES ENVIES D’EUX,Gallery ALB(Anouk Le Bourdiec),Paris,France
2014-Decembrové stopy,Čin Čin gallery,Bratislava,Slovakia
2014-Guláš,Gallery Statua,Bratislava,Slovakia
2014-Street art meeting,Urban Spree Gallery,Berlin,Germany
2013-Happy in Berlin,Urban Art Clash gallery,Berlin,Germany
2013-Berlin Graphic Days,KaterHolzig,Berlin,Germany
2013-Happy in Neukolln,Herr Bert gallery,Berlin,Germany
2013-Wir sind Berlin,Street Art gallery,Zurich,Schweiz
2013-Urban Art Clash,Platoon Kunsthalle,Berlin,Germany
2012-Freunde der Optik,Alten Wettburo,Dressden,Germany
2012-Artaq,Espace Cardin,Paris,France
2011-Something is wrong,galéria X,Bratislava,Slovakia