RIGA - A new exhibition by the Finnish artist Michael Rogatchi is currently on show at Blackhead's House in Riga until July 30. "Dream. Memory. Love" is touring around Europe and brings together a large selection of Rogatchi's distinctive paintings. The tour itself is called Art Against Cancer and all proceeds from the exhibition will go toward a children's charity.
Rogatchi's paintings are somewhat traditional in form and at their best they bring to mind the mystical romanticism of Chagall. As the name of the exhibition suggests, Rogatchi's work explores the netherworld of emotional experience. "Dream, memory and love are the three main things that lead people through life - that's why I gave this name to my exhibition," Rogatchi ex-plained.
Rogatchi terms himself a Jewish artist and says that Jewish themes are central to much of his work. Perhaps it is this that lends his work such a haunted air, for there is a constant theme of doubt running through the vivid, distorted imagery of his paintings.
In many respects, Rogatchi's painting is naive, but in his case it turns out to be a quality rather than a flaw. Each of his paintings is a narrative trying to be told, a voice striving to be made sense of. In a strange way, and in almost startling contrast with the ultraironic, ultra-knowing art that is so prevalent in most contemporary European art, there is something almost refreshing about Rogatchi's "paint it as you feel it" approach to filling a canvass.
The exhibition is divided up into three parts, with the "dream" part focusing on conundrums such as cats' smiles and Don Quixote. The "memory" section mostly deals with Biblical and Jewish themes. o
"Dream. Memory. Love."
7 Ratslaukums, Riga
Open: Tue - Sun
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tickets: 1 lat
for adults, 0.50 lats
for children/senior citizens