Petja Kocet, Freightline 1.1
12 January – 7 February 2023
Petja Kocet, one of the artists of the youngest generation, works mostly within the medium of painting, while also using graphics, collage techniques, and drawing. The combined presentation of these approaches creates a varied layout and a coherent whole. All the works selected for the exhibition were created in the series Freightline 1 (2021–2022) in which the artist deals with his own immediate environment of growing up, Port of Koper, while also expressing interest in the contemporary state of globalization and the society in which we live. He understands a port as a window to the world, even though the age of the Internet makes us witnesses of a different transport of information.
The title of this series appeals to the dynamics in painting as an art form, which can be understood in the sense of mixing styles and the diversity of transitions between media and the use of different techniques within a single one. Furthermore, the artist is interested in what painting can be today and how to present contemporary themes within the selected medium. The previous presentations of this series show skill and imagination in juxtaposing the pieces, their placement in space, and the use of specifics to emphasize individual elements and create dynamics. We can observe the repetition of the crane motif which can be seen in variations on the series of graphics Luft Lift (2, 4) and which is also depicted monumentally and in a reduced colour scale in the painting Untitled (2022). The night scene, the lines, illuminated in orange tones and emphasized on the dark background, and the structure of the crane all build the dynamics and the atmosphere of the larger-format picture. As a contrast or counterweight to easily recognizable images, there are works that are an approximate cut-out of the selected element. Such is, for example, KKTU (2022), where only individual strokes of colour can be seen on a grey background, while the image is only separated from total abstraction by an inscription – a label made of letters and numbers which make it appear as a selected of framed part of the shipping container’s wall. The piece 1600 (2022), again showing as the inscription, has a similar effect, but the individual brightly coloured and varied details in the picture present us with a dilemma as to what we are actually looking at, while the use of crayons on the canvas creates a visually specific effect.
The graphics, entitled Stowaway (2022), the basis for which were X-ray photographs showing human figures during cargo inspection, are more semantically unambiguous. They present the artist’s step forward from the very motif of fascination, as he directly points to the reality of the ubiquitous refugee theme.
The exhibition is part of the “Youth” series – a professional presentation of artists of the younger generation, which is one of the important program orientations of the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute.
Petja Kocet (1998, Koper) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2021, majoring in painting, with the mentorship of assoc. prof. M.Sc. Ksenija Čerče. He is a recipient of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Award. In 2022, he had his first solo exhibition, Freightline 1, in the cultural centre Libertas, in Koper. He is currently doing his master’s studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. He lives and works in Ljubljana.