Art The moment when you lose your innocence

The moment when you lose your innocence

Giorgia Massari

With a dramatic and raw language, Slovak artist Dominika Kováčiková (1996) weaves a narrative addressing confusion, disorientation, survival, and adaptation. The subjects of her canvases are young women navigating the intricate transition from adolescence to adulthood. The female perspective portrayed is one of suffering and confusion, a result of a society struggling to embrace the socio-cultural changes demanded by the new generation. Dominika’s scenes highlight the insecurities young women face in seeking recognition in the “world of men.” Her heroines grapple with the expectations of the male-dominated world, with some paintings depicting a determined and ruthless struggle for assertion, featuring phrases like “I cannot afford to be kind,” and female stereotypes treated ironically. In other works, Dominika emphasizes a more poignant aspect, portraying heroines who, despite their boldness and strength, end up as victims. An example is a canvas depicting the dead and semi-nude body of a woman, covered in bruises, underscoring the more dramatic aspect that this scenario can entail.

Dominika Kováčiková presents scenarios that oscillate between the ironic and the tragic, unveiling the most controversial aspects of this particular phase of a woman’s life. The artist explores adaptation as a necessary transition for survival. She does so through the depiction of a knife, explicitly illustrating the protagonist’s attempt to transform into an aggressive entity to confront the constant opposition she faces. The body and its tangible pain, such as blood-soaked ankles, serve as a spokesperson for a psychological suffering often abstract and concealed, almost demanded and made necessary by a corrupted social context. However, Dominika’s imagery suggests a certain inconsistency that reflects a larger reality. The pastel, vibrant, and carefree colors underscore the indifference and lightness with which these issues are perceived from the outside. A less-discussed moment that is not met with the delicacy it deserves but, more importantly, requires. The photographic cut, typical of social networks, further highlights how this dimension is almost glorified by a digital world attempting to communicate distress without receiving consideration and understanding.

Courtesy Dominika Kováčiková

Written by Giorgia Massari
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