Simchowitz is pleased to present Fish & Dog, a solo exhibitionof paintings and works on paper by Prague-based artist Kryštof Strejc (b.1994).
For Strejc the role of the self-portrait is the blending of man and animal in a forum of self-portrait, autobiography, and fable. Despite the work’s feel of a wondrous oasis, with bright shades, saturated colors, and references to popular culture, it reckons with the ominous, yet perhaps predictive, not-so-distant future. Strejc views the fish and dog as two creatures without attributes and sports no prejudices and preferences in approaching them. The large-format drawings and paintings retain a clarity of form — both within animals and people — and how we as individuals perceive them.
Strejc is a graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague and began painting animals during his studies, where his natural curiosity guided him to sketch and draw more dominant images, most notably, beasts of prey. Through his journey, images of more submissive creatures — dogs and fish— began to appear unconsciously in his work. Now their presence is permanently anchored, at least substitutionary, in nearly every recent work.
The mythology of self allows the work to categorically deconstruct the differentiating properties between man and animal. The fish have human lips, while the dogs are dressed and wear shoes, which according to Strejc, does not differ from a lived or perceived reality. The work is a reminder that belief and tradition are interchangeable — it’s all in how we observe it.