Matija Bobicic: SNEAKERHEADS

10 April - 10 May 2021


Marvin Gardens is excited to present SNEAKERHEADS, the second solo exhibition at the gallery by Matija Bobičić. This group of paintings is from the outset a direct nod to the show title. Motifs that the artist has painted for years, such as the recurring clown mask, and various cartoon heads reappear here, often sporting larger-thanlife sneakers. The compositions range from a raptor body wearing a partial clown mask to cover a Skeletor head, all the way down to the minimal polelike signs for legs stretching directly from head to shoe. It appears as though in this form of play, almost toy-like, the body parts can be harmlessly plucked and interchanged with others. Interweaving thinly painted passages with heavily layered backgrounds, Bobičić reminds us of his own personally unique practice of layering symbolism within his work. Having grown up during the break-up of Yugoslavia, the artist’s use of popular imagery produces a personal code that indirectly speaks to the harsh realities of human nature. A recurring example is the mask of happiness, a mere surface that partially reveals the villain’s face, which is also a sign of death and destruction. In this exhibition the painter introduces sneakers into the lexicon, commodities which have their own sordid history in global labor and trade, yet continue to be prized collectibles connected to the body in more ways than the obvious.