Stefan Zsaitsits

Stefan Zsaitsits is an Austrian-born artist who works in graphite on paper. In his work, he depicts surreal vignettes that, while drawn in a very physical manner, evoke a sense of the dreaming world and stream of consciousness.

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Based on Zsaitsits’ website, it appears he painted up until 2009 before making the switch over to solely working in graphite. While his paintings had a very similar surreal style, the graphite medium of his current pieces lends itself so well to the subconscious nature of his imagery.

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A sampling of Zsaitsits’ work from his website.

Often centered around childlike human forms—or homunculi, with small bodies and disproportionately large heads—Zsaitsits work depicts scenes where these figures commingle with other animals and ordinary objects, simultaneously invoking the ordinary and the fantastical. While his drawings inspire a dreamlike mood, the physicality of his work comes through in his fearless line work and scribbled markings, combined with realistic shading and fine details, to create ghosted and layering effects.

In comparing Zsaitsits older work in painting with his current drawings, I get the feeling that the graphite medium has freed him up to get his ideas down more immediately, without the filter of time in having to wait for paint to dry. He proves the value of graphite as a standalone medium, rather than one that is merely subservient to painting.