This Thursday, August 26th, Carl Kostyál Gallery in London will be presenting Szabolcs Bozó’s debut solo show, following the artist’s recent participation in Kawaii group show at Almine Rech Shanghai, and last year’s solo show with L21 Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The Explorer will be introducing Hungarian-born artist’s inquisitive practice with a series of 13 acrylic, oil, and oil stick on canvas pieces, out of which 6 are group and 7 are solo portraits of his quirky characters. The exhibition will also include a large scale, site specific, multi-canvas piece spanning 350x640cm, as well as a suite of pencil, oil stick, and marker on paper drawings.

The practice of Szabolcs Bozó is generally driven by his unmediated urge to create, draw, or paint, and is informed by his passionate love for colors. After years of working in the hospitality industry, the artist found his interest in depicting non-human, imaginary, friendly looking animals which are characterized with rough brush work, expressive paint application, and aforementioned vibrant colors. Through his practice, the London-based artist has been working with purposely simplified visuals that aim to trigger “why didn’t I think of this” type of realization. Without any interest in expressing opinions or making statements his cast of characters remained featureless for years until Henry vacuum-like eyes were applied for the first time in 2016.

At this exhibition the artist will be introducing a new series of single portraits alongside big-scale group shots that challenge logic and question reality by “mixing the unmixable”. After developing his cast of recurring characters over the past years, Bozó is nowadays using these big eyed stooges to construct quirky assemblages that suggest some sort of simple narrative (2 Sugars Please or Picnic, both 2021). Interested in amplifying the intuitive appearance of his small drawings, he is highly focused on capturing the imperfections of notebook sketches and drawings, all the way to reproducing the accidental fingerprints. This effort arguably culminates in a large-scale work which will take over the walls around the fireplace in the main room of the gallery. Depicting a stylized fox-like creature, this particular work exposes the highly playful nature and the urge to approach his art making from a different, ludic angle. Painted with acrylics, charcoal, oil sticks, oil paint, and custom-made fingerprint stamps, these new works are continuing Bozo’s trajectory towards making brighter and textured pieces imbued with a purposely fake, outlandish aesthetic. —Sasha Bogojev