Although working with figuration, there is no narrative in Gragur Akrap’s work as a whole as he prioritizes the medium and technique over its content. And such dedication to creating the “poetry of painting” rather than telling a story, is noticeable from the ways he is mixing the colored sections along with his linework, as well as creating a variety of surfaces using different types of gestures. Often allowing the paint itself to lead the creative process and suggesting the attributes of a certain element, it’s the dramatically contrasting colors, as well as the dialogue between the “dirty” and “clean” sections that create much-needed tension in which the image exists. Further on, by painting the same motif a couple of times, the artist examines to what extent the format, size, and/or technical approaches might influence the finished work. Regularly using watered-out tones of vibrant colors, the work has a light, almost translucent appearance. The effect of otherworldliness gets further accented in these rich paintings with his imagery being inspired by the idyllic exotic scenes or mythical narratives. Mixing the elements of Post-Impressionism with spontaneity and freedom of “bad painting” or child-like drawing, Akrap is indicating great confidence and scope of interests and influences.
Grgur Akrap was born in Zagreb in 1988, where he graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. Since 2013, he has presented his work in numerous exhibitions both at home and abroad. He has received various awards, including the Award of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb presented at the 51st Zagreb Salon of Visual Arts in 2016, the Best Young Artist Award at the 3rd Biennial of Painting in 2015, and a special award from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2013 for outstanding performance in his studies and the best Master’s Thesis.