Michal Černušák (1982) a distinctive representative of contemporary Slovak painting, uses large canvases to depict a global world of mass-media information, capital and manipulation, the sickness of the powerful and their critical reflection. His canvases frequently feature hovering architectural objects, astronauts and developers, opulent beach parties, the crumbling American dream as well as scenes of catastrophes and collisions.
We have chosen the pars pro toto principle (a segment representing the whole) for the exhibition at the Danubiana. Two key paintings from 2020 and 2021 determine the boundaries of Černušák’s exhibited works – mentally and spatially. These four-meter paintings are situated across from each other on the walls in a relatively narrow space. His most recent artwork entitled Corpo-ratio presents his characteristically critical but also less serious picture as a model of the contemporary world of consumption, capital and media data. A whirlpool of people, a bulldozer, jeep, chain saw and inflatable toys and smiley teeth float against the background of metropolitan architecture, while diverse exotic fish from holiday destinations swim in the bottom section. This painting is supported by previous paintings in this spirit located on the next wall which feature torn apart Lego-type toy figures, a little green toy soldier, a grenade, and flying white owl with a clear message in the title (We Are Not Your Toys), and the “abduction” of a young woman by an American cowboy with pink rescue chopper (European Dream).
The second painting entitled Get on Top depicts the destructive activities of corporations, the bankruptcies of banks and the rapacity of capital as fragments falling down bank houses above a calm body of water. This “dark” side of our civilization is complemented by paintings of an imaginary city with the illuminated eyes of people in billboards (Yes We Could), an anonymous crowd of people below a frightening glowing cloud (Glory) and between them a deserted landscape of rocks with sparse vegetation (Promised Land).
Michal ČERNUŠÁK (*1982, Zvolen) lives and works in Bratislava.
He graduated from the 4th Studio of prof. Ivan Csudai at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2000-2006); Awards: 2007 - Special prize within the ESSL Art Award; 2006 – finalist for VUB Painting of the Year; exhibitions: 2020 – Čierny kvet (Black Flower), GJK Trnava; - Modrá lampa (Blue Lamp, with Ivan Csudai), MVL Košice; 2019 – City Mejkap (City Makeup), GKK Klatovy; 2018 – Bakelit, Miskolci Gallery Miskolc; - Young Slovak Contemporary, St. Pőlten; 2017 – Nie sme tvoje hračky (We Are Not Your Toys, with Marek Kvetan), Schemnitz Gallery Banská Štiavnica; - Podivné správy (Strange News), Gaesar galerie Olomouc; 2015 - 3rd Danube Biennale, Danubiana Art Museum, Bratislava; 2014 – We Will Solve Your Problems, Kasárne Kulturpark, Košice; - Slovak Now!, Dvorak Sec gallery Prague; currently he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava; for more information go to: http://www.cernusak.com/