Vladimir Leben with Ercigoj Art
Sound, music: Aldo Kumar and Sašo Kalan
Leben paints the animal world in a witty painterly idiom that is close to illustration and comic strip. His images of animals are often situated in the premodern genres of allegory and parable, where his animal protagonists with their human characteristics in new, often humorous, and largely emotionally typified forms make a unique commentary on the universal condition of the human spirit. Naturally, the wide range of “animal” psychological states does not exclude everyday hardships: suffering, indifference or aggression. Despite the bitter conditions of the animal (and human) world, the messages of Leben’s animals are morally optimistic: the dancing bears have broken free of their circus chains and are now disco dancing happily.
Vladimir Leben (born in 1971) grew up in Sevnica, Slovenia. He studied at the Secondary School of Design and Photography and then the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He has exhibited at solo and group shows at home and abroad; one of his most acclaimed (collaborative) projects was Galapagos. He is a co-founder of the Museum of Too Modern Art. He works in painting, animation and illustration. In 2007 he received first prize for animation at the 10th Festival of Slovene Film in Portorož, and in 2012 the Hinko Smrekar Award at the 10th Slovene Biennial of Illustration. He lives and works in Ljubljana. Web: http://vladimirleben.com/