Hungarian born Tampa artist John Gurbac has been working his passion for over 20 years. His work has been seen in museums and galleries all across the US. What makes his work so unique is the subject matter and where he finds it.
When I saw his work originally I thought it was abstract oils on canvas because that’s what it looked like from afar. You have a variety of shapes and colors commingling on the canvas portraying a beautiful abstract image from the artist’s imagination. That is true to a point but I didn’t really see how deep his work is.
Yes it is abstract, but his work is more than that. It’s not just a variety of random lines and shapes on a canvas. His work is actually minerals and elements magnified under a microscope and combined with fragmentation’s.
It’s not everyday you see paintings of actual elements we see in nature. He’s infused Pyrite (fools gold), and other amazing elements into his work, showing it in a way you would never see unless you view it under a microscope. He does this because of his fascination and love of our environment. He wants you to see the world in a whole new way.
His work also infuses fragmentation with his elements. This is something you may not understand but after talking with Gurbacs, he made it simple to see and understand.
Fragment is the opposite of symmetry. Symmetry is found when you cut something in half and it appears identical on each side. That really doesn’t exist even with our own bodies. For instance one ear lobe may be slightly longer than the other, one eye may have a slightly different shape, the middle finger on one hand may have slight differences on the other hand.
In terms of animals, there are no two patterns alike on their coats. There are no two zebra’s stripes the same, there are no two cheetah’s spots the same. That’s what makes fragmentation so amazing.
Gurbac takes fragmentation in nature and adds it to the pictures in forms of outlines. One shape he uses a lot is snowflakes. No two snowflakes are the same so each flake has it’s own distinctive shape.
On some of his paintings you will see the abstract mineral composition with it’s unique shapes and colors with a snowflake shape on top, with another nature scene painted inside the flake. What you get is a spectacle for the eye which sets this amazing artist away from the rest.
His passion for nature, the abstract and even urban decay leads to this amazing pictures that amaze his viewers. You can look at each painting and find something new each time.
Gurbac doesn’t limit himself to these kinds of abstract art. He also shines by painting elaborately detailed nature photos depicting wildlife.
In 2011 Gurbac was commissioned to paint the “Sulfur Springs Pump Station” in Tampa, FL. Gurbac painted the mural with native wildlife to the area. You see spoonbills, egrets, cranes and various fish found inside the Hillsborough River that runs past the springs. This massive mural can be seen from Nebraska Ave (A.K.A. US 41).
Some of his work combines a variety of subject matters into one to make a statement. One of my favorite pieces of his that depicts this is one of a crashed 1965 Mustang. It happens to be one of my favorite cars of all time, but the meaning behind it is powerful. It’s an attack on industrialism. There is beauty in the wreckage as there was beauty in the car, but it was not meant to last.
Gurbac continues to show his work and be involved with the art community in the Tampa Bay area. He is dedicated to making this world a beautiful palace to live in, so stop and appreciate his vision next time you see his work.