Archie Zan

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I grew up with an artist father who spent his life wasting his immense talent pursuing recognition in plain view. He is from that generation of true “Yugoslav” artist who believed in equal opportunities and fairness, something of a fantasy in today’s art world. When I decided to become an artist, I learned from my father’s “mistakes” but also, social media allowed me to see how the artistic circles work. The pandemic changed the art world but also changed how I needed to present myself as an artist. I created ‘Archie’ as a virtual conceptual experiment which then developed into a physical artist due to social media acceptance. I find that through Archie I am able to express myself fully and let my art speak for itself. As the great Jerry Saltz once said to me: “show them non-generic talent first and then your face will follow, kiddo!”, something I am determined to do.

Why So Serious?
The painting is a portrait of a girl friend of mine who is taking herself way too serious and so I wanted to paint her almost satirical, clown like in her features. She didn't find it funny which proved my point completely!
Work Credit: 
Archie Zan
The Weight of the World
The Weight of the World is about my little cousin who at her age is already way too preoccupied with stereotypes and certain images of how she should look and behave. My "distorted" portrait of her is a representation of everything beautiful in non-confirmative way.
Work Credit: 
Archie Zan

The artist behind Archie was born after the Balkan war in Yugoslavia. He studied architecture in Ljubljana but graduated in London. After visiting Francis Bacon’s exhibition at the Tate Gallery, which had a profound effect on his life, he left architecture and became a self-taught artist in Paris. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Archie has been creating artwork which explores isolation, ambiguity and vanity. He deconstructs human form and using classical composition re-constructs them into expressive textural portraits.

P. Archie Zan (pronounced ‘par-chi-zan’) is a conceptual project with its roots in the word ‘partisan’. It was created as an exploration into how to be an artist in a world changed by the pandemic. Archie became an actual project after the overwhelmingly positive response on social media. As an artist he believes in equal opportunities and merit based on art alone. In Archie’s words: “art without a label is like a projection without a screen – it becomes limitless!”.

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