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PETER GARBERA (Paintings II)

Misty hues, burnished golds and shimmering colors glow like haunting marvels in a science-fantasy film. Amid the throbbing, panoramic scenes loom white-bearded old warriors, young maidens adorned with emeralds, rubies and pearls, and mystical figures symbolizing age-old human virtues and vices. The curious touches of sarcasm, the surreal treatment of the animate and inanimate along with the total mastery of the medium, all contribute to the unique atmosphere - and also provide a rich mine for the modern psychoanalyst.

Eclectic is a charge that will inevitably be leveled at the work of the Hungarian-born artist Peter Garbera, but it is an indictment that Garbera turns to his best advantage. His paintings are done in oil varnish, a long-forgotten technique perfected by the Van Eyck brothers in the Early Renaissance. Painted on hard, smooth panel instead of canvas, Garbera’s eerie imagery takes on a peculiarly haunting glow; the glassy surface alone is dreamlike, even disembodied. While the figures are elongated in a manner reminiscent of High Baroque, the extravagances of the Romanesque style are echoed by darkly grimacing gargoyles and leering devils. His surrealistic visions recall the fantastic scenes of Hieronimus Bosch, Salvador Dali and Endre Szasz. Centuries-old symbols of decadence are omnipresent familiars in Garbera’s paintings. The clocks, ravens and wolves while alluding to the fragility of the human animal, also remind us that these images are no more than the cold facts of existence.

           
         

Courage

 

Merlin

           

Crown of Thorns

Owl - Woman

Piety

   

Don Quixote

Fox

   

The Riddle

Spring

 

 
 

Old Warrior

       

Joan of Arc

 

Young Merlin