When the name Cyril Blažo (born 1970 in Bratislava) is spoken, the first association will in all probability be an unforgettable, slightly comical figureon the Slovak art scene. If harmony of a personality and its work is at all possible with someone, then that someone is Blažo. His works are just like he is – small, witty, pertinent, original and spontaneous.
Blažo established himself on the visual arts scene before the mid 1990s. In 1994 he graduated from the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts and Design in the studio of Professor Daniel Fischer. During his studies he was together with artists such as Boris Ondreička, Stano Dančiak, Jr. and Ivan Marko a member of the group 00, and later of the group named Blondiak. His early work, characterised mainly be expressive graphic art, was gradually replaced by that created by Blažo in multiple techniques – drawing, painting, graphic art, photograph or collages.
Blažo is often spoken of as a collector. He is not, however, a collector-archivist – his collection is not systematic or well-arranged. It’s more of a kind of spontaneous amassing of medial images that stem from a sudden interest in an object. The media image becomes the subject of a minimalist intervention. This, however, fundamentally changes the meaning; it comments on the appropriated depictions themselves and on the reality forced on them. His favourite technique consists of, for instance, collages made “without glue”. Blažo uses a two-sided print found, for instance, in the picture magazine, and simply cuts out and bends the paper and thereby overlaps and reveals the reproduction from both sides. Mona Lisa suddenly has, instead of an eye, a pentagram, the figure from Picasso’s Guernica drowns (or bathes, according to the name of the work) in the grassy vegetation. Sometimes it’s enough to turn the picture 90 degrees and a mountain’s silhouette can turn into a human profile.
Some of Blažo’s works appear at firstglance to be positively banal. Many manage to provoke the imaginative art historian’s mind toward deeper thinking and interpretations, offering several levels of interpretation. It’s clear from the context of his work and from his personality that Cyril Blažo does not take it all that seriously. Every great theory around his art is completely unnecessary.
CYRIL BLAŽO, Star (From the Without Glue series), 2007, photo: archive of the Moravian Gallery in Brno.