David Gista - Room 511

In David Gista’s current painting series the artist pursues his quest to express inarticulate but profound existential dilemmas. His silent ashen figures linger in mute isolation. Their looming shoulders and dark faces dwell anonymously in labyrinthine libraries. They are often shadows trapped in the silent corridors of massive bureaucratic offices, imprisoned by shelves of information and archives which seem to stretch into infinity. Like the character of K in Franz Kafka's novel The Trial these figures are imprisoned by the meaningless information that engulfs them.

By turning his figures away from us and exposing their backs the artist heightens a sense of mystery precisely because human particularities are not revealed. In rendering their backs Gista portrays subtle differences in his characters and their dispositions, achieving a delicate balance between absence and presence. He deepens the mystery about these anonymous beings, making them more universal. This same symbolism exists in Samuel Beckett’s anxiety ridden 1965 short entitled FILM during which a strange man concealed in a black overcoat is hounded closely by the camera. Like Beckett’s film, the depth of the truth in Gista’s people can only be articulated by what is not totally revealed and must remain shrouded. --Diane Thodos

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For more information about David Gista, please visit his website.