Iva Habus


March 16-26, 2017

Exhibition opening: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7pm

I have always been attracted to mechanics, machinery and tools. From kindergarten age I have shown interest in hammers and nails, screws, drills; although I have never had the talent and interest in studying mechanical engineering, tools and machinery attracted me aesthetically, visually.

As a child I though all these machines were alive. How could they be alive and have no soul? Work and not work? You turn on the machine, then turn it off, then turn it on again and so on until their expiration date. Until they completely shut down. Do they also have life expectancy, like human beings? I wondered if we had something in common?

As time passed, I was able to understand the link between the man and the machine a bit better: except being man-made, some of the machine’s parts, in their complexity and functionality, remind of the parts of the human body.

Finally, I have concluded that with the invention of the electric motor man has, slowly but steadily, became dependent on machines and machinery. The world we know today is unimaginable without machines. Technology has progressed to such an extent that machines have replaced people in many ways.

This interrelation between the man and the machine, and the role machines played in the development of humankind, these are the topics of my works. On six large-scale canvases I refer to the beauty and aesthetics of machines, and I also deal with questions related to this fascination of mine.

I opt for a monochromatic approach to painting, because I believe that with the reduction of colour and using chiaroscuro I can achieve additional dramatic effect and emphasize visual and real power and strength of the machines.

The motifs of my works are enlarged parts of aircraft engines, painted based on models for which I used my own, original photographs of aircrafts, taken in the Technical Museum in Zagreb. I intentionally enlarge parts of the engines in order to emphasize their strength and power, as well as my admiration. I find airplane engines particularly fascinating because they were the ones that soared man into the sky. In my work – similar to Futurists’ idea according to which industrial cities, cars and aircrafts represent the triumph of technology over nature – I glorify this human invention and emphasize its aesthetics.

Each part of the engine – machine – has its function, the reason for being in a specific place, which in turn causes the engine to look exactly the way it does; aesthetics is here a consequence of functionality.

With this exhibition I explore the backbone of this relationship between aesthetics and function, but also the question of whether these are the aesthetic preferences of an individual (in this case myself) or the general public.

Iva Habus

Excerpt from Thesis

About the author:

Iva Habus was born on August 7, 1987. In 2007, she enrolled in the Animated Film and New Media department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, but she switched her study to the Graphic Arts department in 2011. In 2012, she started studying in the class of Prof. Robert Šimrak.

In the fall of 2013, Habus spent a semester on the Erasmus student exchange program at the University of Arts Poznan in Poland, where she studied at their Graphic Department.

In 2014, she enrolled in the master study program of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in the class of Prof. Robert Šimrak. She actively exhibits her work at home as well as abroad. Since 2016, Iva is a member of the Croatian Association of Fine Artists. She lives and works in Zagreb.




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