In The Chase / Chasse,Gabor Bata explores social alienation-and the way it transforms us-through the visual language of comics. These works depict characters stripped of their humanity and transformed into drawings in which pleas for sincere connection coexist with grotesque, violent faces. These compositions expose a hypothetical world where everyone talks and no one listens. The protagonists attempt to connect and communicate, but as they hiss and rant amidst an abstract, macabre, hellish haze, they repeatedly fail.
Although the characters verge on caricature, Bata still evokes sincerity through materiality. The artist embraces the notion of failure in the surfaces he works on. In the series Play Dead, he buries his ink-and-graphite-illustrated figures under thick, coarse layers of pastel, only to scrape away the material and unearth the figures again. It’s a continuous process of concealment and revelation, of inhalation and exhalation. Scratches and scrapes help shape the subjects as much as they conceal them.
The artwork of The Chase welcome failure as an integral facet of their character. With their seductive colors and flowing gesso grooves, the pieces are as attractive as they are repellent. Whatever their mutant and reprehensible nature, these figures deserve our attention.