David Strauzz's solo exhibition  at Pragovka Gallery - The White Room in Prague.

David Strauzz: VIA
Curated by Kristýna Jirátová
26 May – 29 June 2023
Pragovka Gallery - The White Room, Prague

Via. A journey from point A to point B or a journey with no beginning and no end? A vague journey from existence to non-existence or vice versa. The artist‘s long journey from the street to the gallery. The daily journey from home to studio, the journey from Canada to Prague and back maybe. Via is a journey to the truth, and to oneself in the first place.
In the present exhibition, David Strauzz opens up themes that we carry within ourselves, however, we often prefer to keep them safely behind closed doors. Unless we turn the key, nothing can threaten us. The Jungian shadow, the other side of our personality remains unseen, inaccessible to those around us. But what if, on the contrary, this displaced and guilty side of ours, that we so successfully stomp out and stifle, is the part that wants to be and should be seen? Given their level of technicality and sophistication, most works in the gallery offer different points of view, bringing the mirror image of the self to the center of David Strauzz‘s work.
"He who looks into the mirror of the water surface will see his own image. The mirror does not flatter, it shows the truth, the face which we never disclose to the world because we cover it with a persona, the mask of an actor. But the mirror remains behind the mask and shows the true face." Carl Gustav Jung wrote that the encounter with oneself is one of the most unpleasant things that one avoids as long as possible. David‘s work consists largely of portraits that can be interpreted as a reflection of our existence. The artist creates lesser known masks made of various found materials to represent the non-existence. What if the opposite is true? Is it possible to tell the true from false, what is authentic and what is not? The mask helps us to conceal our true identity, we can choose any face we want and take on any role we want. Our chosen or even self-made mask can have the power to bring to light a hidden aspect of our being. We put on a mask and suddenly we are unable to get rid of it. Like the protagonist of Kóbó Abe‘s science fiction novel The Face of the Another, whose mask gradually changes his character, only to become a criminal in the end.
And what about all the people in David‘s paintings? Where do they come from, who are they, where are they going? They constantly change their faces, unable to make up their minds, while facing anxiety and ambivalence. Just like we run away again and again, only to find ourselves back at the beginning. In the panic of existential uncertainty, we move around the stage in confusion, like actors in the Thetre of the Absurd where existing and “non-existing“ lead to the same goal. Being towards non-being – to live to die.

Another level of David’s work consists of collage-like images created by pasting together a number of found posters, which he collects in the Czech Republic and abroad. The poster is slowly disappearing with the development of the digital world. For a street artist for whom the city is a key inspiration, this is an terrifying feeling. Therefore David’s studio is jam-packed with the posters which he puts inexorably in layers. Just as one is able to put on different masks, hiding behind one‘s presumed ego and inwardly giving in to the fear of meeting the other – perhaps true – self. David Strauzz‘s current exhibition is about the desire to find authenticity and the courage to embark on a journey of self-discovery.



















The project is implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the City of Prague, the State fund of culture of the Czech Republic and the Municipality of Prague 9.