Movie frames turn into Ivanovs paintings
"Ritums Ivanovs belongs amongst those artists who gain recognition with their bright individual detailed handwriting as well as with their more quiet or more loud decisions on art turning into an artistic business project"
"Using his vertical stripes pattern, Ivanovs has shown pop culture divas, anonymous girls as well as erotic images already during his earlier shows of 2002, 2004 and 2005. Out of the so-called source materials of photo realism, pop art and op art, Ivanovs has elaborated to achieve the technology of a "mediator screen" that allows to see the images from afar as objectively real images but in close up, they dissolve into the structure of countless fine brush strokes, balancing between the painting as a window to reality and between artificially made product that originated from the author's imagination. Such contradiction is consciously Ritums Ivanovs paintings' most important and provocative magnet. Most of the rest of it fits into the variation of themes.
This time the author has based his paintings of grandiose size on the essence of movie stills, creating portraits and close ups of figures that are caught straight before waking up or shortly after getting up after sleep. The images are recogisable, they entail Bjork (painted 2007-2008) and Johnny Depp (2007-2008). It's an interesting field of sport for film history experts to identify the stills and the actors. I could also see Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and other Hollywood stars of the past.
The viewer is provoked to search their own memory for films once seen or heard to be described and at the same time to sharpen up their eyesight, as Ivanovs images are traditionally vague due to the striped brush stokes, like shots from an old TV-set or on an old movie strip. The colours are almost monochrome and getting closer to the aesthetics of black-and-white stills: the relations of warm and cold colours have been interpreted minimally.
"Dreams give material for movies, and movies give dreams for life", this how the painter comments on his topic that he has been working on for two years. When simulating film stills, paintings probably cannot be seen to bring creative input into the context of today but yet another time they do confirm testing the edges of specifics of the medium and the joy of the effects of Ivanovs pattern."
Latvian Institute of Art History
April 11, 2008