30 × 40 cm, acrylic, felt tips and oil crayons on paper, 2021 - framed
By painting graffiti since 2006, MAFIA TABAK (b. 1990 AUSTRIA) creates his very own visual language and it formed his artistic identity. Altough his roots came from that he seperates nowdays graffiti totally from any kind of art stuff. All his studio work (canvases, installations, drawings, prints) are another way of expressing himself, which is of course all influenced by his graffiti background.
His work reflects his ironic driven humor and the fact the he does not want to take painting as something too serious. The use of his materials, motives, references and even how MAFIA TABAK shapes forms and chooses colors are related on cliches but reinterpret in new contextes. Although all the forms, figurative or abstract, portrayed expressively and vividly, Tabak organizes them into intelligible structures. He paints the figures as less fierce than other artists, but they are characterized with the exact same tenderness and naivity. Tabak works as a well-educated admirer of child drawing, who decided to reject all the possible academic approach towards it. Despite the fact that we can easily recognize that Tabak is inspired by surrealism, we should not presume that he lets the avant-garde masters to influence him excessively. His collage-like canvases, short crayon strokes and "badly" coloured colouring pictures show that he purely and simply did not forget the joy of unschooled creation.
When assembling the layers of everyday and/or exceptional things and situations, Tabak always generously leaves room for the viewer's own layers, encouraging them to participate. The beholder should feel awkward, confused and surprised at the same time. MAFIA TABAK describes his painting style as "Naive art" or "Primitivism" mixed up with referential motives and Installation elements and brought together as actual or painted collages on paper or canvases. The topics should mirror his sense of humor and give insights of his daily lifestyle as a full time artist.