“One feels like getting lost in The Thousand and One Nights, one knows that entering that book one can forget one’s own poor human fate; one can enter a world, a world made up of archetypal figures but also of individuals.” –Jorge Luis Borges, the wizard of words, from his introduction to the immortal A Thousand and One Nights. I admit that I also frequently get lost in this book, but I prefer getting lost in the edition that was published by the Ikar publishing house seven years ago with a translation by Ján Pauliny. It’s because I have a reliable guide through the tangle of archetypal figures and their timeless stories. If I get the feeling that I don’t know which way is north and a mirage begins to blink before my eyes in vast deserts, I reach for a reliable navigational aid – illustration. I even sometimes catch myself browsing through the illustrations in a book and then try to match them with a story of mine. Capricious fantasy, trying to fly, a world where anything can happen, intimate “cozy dens”... Each of us gives these moments a different name and each of us is right. We are talking about the illustrations of Igor Piačka, naturally. One cannot get lost with them, no matter how hard you try. They simply don’t allow it. His drawing brilliance, inventive compositions and cultivated combination of realism and decorative elements are as unquestionable as the fact that Federer is the best tennis player of all time. Yes, Igor is an essential figuralist and just as in his paintings he also develops his artistic program of dynamic realism here, albeit in smaller spaces. His faces are convincing because he creates them according to living models, which is very rare in these parts. It is almost unbelievable how he can catch his sensual figures up in a wild swirl only to calm them down in meditative depths. Igor’s illustrations have a great semantic and expressional register. And it doesn’t matter if it concerns The Thousand and One Nights, Stories of Dragon Emperors, the Bible or The Sorcerer’s Vacation by Július Balco – to mention the most famous ones. “Once upon a time, when the Heavens and the Earth were still one, the universe looked like a large dark egg.” – we can read in the text How the World Was Created in Stories of Dragon Emperors. And I know that Igor Piačka was there. If you have any doubts, just pay the Danubiana a visit and have a look at his unbearably light ILLUSIONS.
PhDr. Ľudovít Petránsky
Igor Piačka was born in 1962 in Třebíč, Czech Republic. In 1989 he graduated from the Department of Free Graphic and Book Illustration (prof. A. Brunovský) of the Academy of Fine Arts (AFA) in Bratislava. From 1990 to 2003 he taught figural drawing at the AFA in Bratislava. Since then he has worked as a freelance artist. Since 1990 he has organized more than 100 solo exhibitions at home and abroad and participated in approximately 250 group exhibitions. He has won approximately 35 domestic and foreign awards (Bratislava, Prague, Belgrade, Paris, Užice, Toronto, Sapporo, Qingdao, Kanagawa, Beijing...) His artistic interests range from painting and drawing through prints, ex libris stickers, illustrating and postage stamps.