Post by Amy Middleton.
I am happy that I don’t know you… because the best it yet to come!
I am not going to pretend to know or understand Hugo Racz. In fact, what I ‘think’ I know about him I have gathered from a few short encounters and the assumptions I have lifted from his artwork.
Hugo’s paintings first caught my attention when I curated the VCE Creative Showcase at Burrinja late last year. His collection of digital prints and paintings was raw, edgy, authentic and brave. The fusion of uninhibited mark making and clashing colours in his work is eye catching and has an undercurrent of aggressive playfulness. What also caught my attention were the tiny insights and clues that littered the canvas and gave insight into Hugo’s thoughts and observations of the world around him.
I was delighted when he agreed to create a new body of work for a solo show at Burrinja. Tabula Rasa will be open to view at the Jarmbi Gallery from 23 May to 15 June.The Latin term tabula rasa translates in English to ‘clean slate’, which refers to starting again. Hugo explained his choice of title by saying, “I feel as though I have moved onto a new chapter in my life having finished high school last year. My routine has totally changed and my mind is fresh, it’s as though I am starting again; a clean slate. The term also specifically refers to a scraped tablet from which writing has been erased. From a creative perspective this solely relates to most of my art, in which I often scrub out entire sections of the image to either start again or simply cover over with more paint. By removing or crossing out words and lines, they become more meaningful in their absence.” I get the sense that this statement is a hopeful one… and I am excited by that!
When I visited Hugo at his studio last week it became obvious that this laid back young guy possesses a creative restlessness and genuine passion for making art. Hugo describes his art as “warped depictions of my personal life and the world around me. I try to portray internal emotions, thoughts and spirituality as a tangible, exterior manifestation; brought to life using primitive line application and a vivid colour pallet to create.” This statement seems a tall order even for a seasoned artist, let alone a young guy who has only just finished school. Hugo does however; seem to have a deep inner strength that I believe will serve him well in years to come. He doesn’t seem to say very much with his words, but he has clearly found a voice to express his inner world. My hope for him is that he can continue to create honest art, and that the world around him continues to provide enough creative fodder for a long career.
Tabula Rasa opens officially on Friday 23 May at 6.30 pm
at Burrinja – Cnr Glenfern Rd and Matson Drive, Upwey.
Please come along to check out Hugo’s work and meet the man himself!
Photos of Hugo’s artwork courtesy of Jacqui Christians. Photos of Hugo at his studio by Amy Middleton.