Dan Trantina – Me Too / Too Me

9 Apr 2019 – 9 Jun 2019

Cerna Labut Art & Event Gallery

Prague, Czechia


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Me too and too me and we all


The title of Dan Trantina’s exhibition is based on his painting Me Too (Mars) from 2017. Although the motif of this painting relates to Dan’s painting reflections on Mars and to greater or smaller possibilities of sexual adventures between female earthlings and Martian vaginal pollinators, it seems as if the title of the exhibition benefited in terms of marketing from the recently still media-prosperous campaign, thriving in a country where everything that was yesterday, particularly if it concerns relations between human animate beings, confused by their sexual differences and sometimes, probably, misusing force field or overstepping the limits of ideal good manners, is more than just tomorrow, the future thus definitely getting lost in translation. This is certainly true with regard to the title of the exhibition; after all, why not to use the advertising seductive potential of the hashtag me too while it is not a copyrighted trademark. Well, I hope it isn‘t so far.Another Dan’s painting from the same series of two years ago is called Walk with a Dog. And there is a woman (striking breasts) painted in it with a dog, howling at the heaven. Either way, the exhibition could be titled: Walk with a Dog. Basically, it would be the same, but it would not be possible to play with it so picturesquely, to switch words, still maintaining the same meaning. But it’s not only that. As can be surely felt from the subtext, me too too me, which, at the same time looks and sounds like the refrain of a tramp campfire song, emotionally painful, from the 1920s from somewhere near Štěchovice, when sparks sputtered up to the blackened sky lit by myriads of stars, planets and black holes (but black holes are probably not visible), the subtext and context and semtext of the title and the exhibition and the paintings is surely large, more comprehensive and more complicated. Perhaps it is an expression of the confusion we are supplying each other with and to which we assume, or even must assume, this attitude or other. By telling a story, we try to get to the essence, because despite the massive conscious scepticism somewhere in the depths of the genetic codes we may believe that it all has some sense after all. Maybe this is the essential reason why Dan Trantina makes paintings and why he paints them in such a wild, passionate, expressive, layered manner. Dan enjoys to exploitatively paint and narrate and confirm his existence which does not slip on a banal career spiral but rather thrusts its way using intrusive visual expressions from beneath the surfaces to the depths and back again, as a pendulum with colours from the hell to the heaven, only request stop on the Earth. A figure or a face turns out from the chaos of abstracted and abstractly expressive forms. Male or female or other. Known or unknown. In the last of Dan’s painting series for example Angela Davis (though I would like a larger tuft of that curly black hair there), Mother Teresa, Marilyn Monroe. I look at those paintings and I am becoming to feel uneasy, for I know how strange and ungraspable all this is. Not only the question of what a woman means and what a man means, especially when we still don’t know what life is, we only suspect that various things happen and now and again also dirty tricks.But Dan’s paintings are also funny. I shouldn’t forget that._

Exhibiting artists

Dan Trantina


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