6 April - 1 May 2020
Opening 6pm Wednesday 6 April
Image: Carlos Can Not See His Son Today. He Is Telling People On The Internet Why He Did Not Like The Movie 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' 2019 21 x 30cm, solvent release on rag paper.
Very New Work
Anthony Bartok’s new work shows a return to humour in his paintings, taking aim at accepted social norms of the modern day. His first solo show in 6 years, Bartok has developed a series of paintings and prints as a result of recent study at the National Art School. “I think this work is my most mature work yet which is funny considering that on the surface it looks like I’m just having a laugh. Well, I am I guess. Life is absurd and the only thing that holds any validity is to make fun of everything that society says is normal. Short sighted education systems, corrupt officials, bureaucracy, food factories and Justin Bieber.”
Bartok is interested in contributing to a conversation as an artist. Using a visual language to express philosophical observations on contemporary life is an enjoyable struggle that keeps him curious and a little naive towards accepted ‘truths’ in society. His current work questions many of these truths that we take for granted in the modern West. Full-time work, standardised education, the industrialisation of food, empty lives defined by consumption and entertainment and the divide between rich and poor. It is true that there are many things to celebrate but they have come about because of society's ability to question the worst aspects of itself. Humour is criticisms big Trojan horse, and with these new works he has used a lot of humour to wrap his observations in. Adopting the simple cartoon line and language of children's colouring-in books he can depict complex issues simply and lightly.
Anthony Bartok is a Sydney based painter and printmaker with over 10 years experience exhibiting in commercial galleries and ARIs in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland. He is a 2020 graduate of the National Art School, and is currently unrepresented. Born in Cherrybrook in Sydney’s suburban Hills District, Bartok grew up looking at art exclusively through books that eventually forming the basis of his first solo show at the age of 19 and over the next few years produced work exploring what it means to become an artist and the differences between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art. Since then Bartok has shifted stylistically as often as he has conceptually, but always approaching his work from a distance and with the use of photographic source material.
“I usually don’t like putting my personal mark in the work as I think it detracts from a Truth about the subject. Since I believe these truths to be inherent in the subject, they are objective truths - and that’s why I paint them from a distance. I also get bored easily.” Bartok recently completed a BA of Fine Arts at the National Art School where he majored in printmaking. The basis for these new paintings were informed by the body of work he developed there. “I think going to art school as a mature aged student humbles you and also lets you develop work without being blinded by the arrogance of youth like it did for me the first time.”
Photos by Docqment
MOP Projects is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW