Gazmend Leka returns to FAB gallery in Tirana with the personal exhibition “Prayer” (Lutja) during (4th – 31st) of October 2018. The exhibition is in itself a ritual devoted to the external and internal forces in a human being. During this journey the artist is sometimes the object and another time the subject; the observer then the observed. However, in both circumstances he is still the one standing in the corner as well as in the centre, analytically observing his world.
More than a dark world, Gazmend Leka’s tableaus are a far-away world: the present as an interlacing of the past and the future. Rather, a touch of the beyond. Looking deep into time; in an effort to understand oneself, the work, and the progress of creation: how it is conceived, how it takes shape, how it is captured; in solitude, between crossroads and doubts, there stands the author.
His working tools and shoes are the particulars he prefers to acknowledge. The first, as a sign of diversity and the second perhaps as a sign of endurance in the chaos of the small world, which is turned into the cradle of artistic creation. Every experience of this exhibition arises and relates to his atelier. It is the start point of the artistic journey: the studio is the chamber of the monk, it is the corner of confession, it is the place of suffering and reward. As an ascetic or hermit Gazmend Leka seeks to renounce earthly confusion to attain enlightenment.
It is not surprising why we are involved in a metaphysical point of view. Studio objects appear weightless. The entire space seems magic and the invisible threads put everything in motion. A foretime, the studio turns into the creator’s sarcophagus. His servants, accompanying him to the beyond, are his tools. In such tableaus the painter loses humility and becomes “God”. The artist sees no other way to light, except the voluntary sacrifice. After the step of physical cleansing, a tableau in which the author shows a kind of pleasure for the next step, that of “self-crucifixion”, a set of tableaus represents the last act, the act where hardship gives place to peacefulness.
Prayer is humility and gratitude to a greater authority; it is the perishing and the humility in front of his work; it is the passage to the “Big Sleep” (tableau title), which implies nothing but a “great awakening”. There s no lack of flames either. They appear on the background through the use of colour, while the portrait passes from earthly suffering to eternal tranquillity. Eyelid obliquity and lip to mouth illness in a tableau or the tumble on the ground over a throw / shroud in semidarkness, reflect the author’s state of mind along the creative steps.
In this exhibition, the author shows the tendency to avoid interpersonal, inter-institutional relations. The time he tends to “talk about “, is the time before and after the creation. The artist has accepted this arrangement and signed with his paintbrush in exchange for the suffering. With “stubbornness”, the artist, accepts the signature, but not the submission; accepts suffering in return for fulfilment of passion. The exhibition has an autobiographical tendency and is a form of deportation to life’s fears, quite natural to human nature. Such is the sense of death, against which the artist maintains respect, someplace even a little bit of teasing for all this senseless fear of the unknown.
* Gazmend Leka was born on October 11th, 1953 in Tirana. In 1978 he completed his studies at the Academy of Arts and a year later began working as an associate in designing and realizing the interior of the Gjergj Kastrioti – Skënderbeu Museum in Kruja, which ended in 1982. For a period of 10 years, 1981-1991, he becomes artistic director of animated films at film studio “New Albania” working as a director. In 1991 he started working as a lecturer at the University of Arts former Academy of Arts. The National Gallery of Art preserves 37 of his art work in painting and graphics. Over 400 other works are enjoyed and appreciated in private collections in Albania, America, France, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Japan.