Ieva Caruka. Boxing
Exhibition at Jūrmala Museum from February 15 till March 19, 2023

In the scenes of her new paintings and collages, Ieva Caruka uses figurative
expressions of the controversial sport – boxing. The artist sees them as a
continuation of her story about a human. Though the theme of the whole cycle is related to the axis of love, including bodily sensuality which is so important to the artist. Why do bodies that hear each other’s heartbeats and feel the warmth of each other’s skin get on the stage of aggressive performances to “knockout” each other? Why is a tight hug just a technical means of approach to provoke the opponent’s weaknesses? Why something that might look like a connection and meeting is an aggressive power play? And why do others like to watch it, betting on the winner and the loser? These questions are deliberately freed from the experience of explaining the rules of sports known to everyone. The view of Ieva Caruka is like a production of amazement, making you look at the phenomena in a different light, in a wider cultural context. “From ancient tragedies and scriptures to romantic operas and the latest hits, love is a treasure. Losing it hurts. I wish love would be a value in life, as forgetting love is devastating,” says artist Ieva Caruka.
Ieva Caruka (1964) artistically formed the 1980s at the Lviv Polygraphic
Institute, Book Graphics Department (1981-1985) and in the workshops of
informal art leaders in Lviv, finishing her studies at the Art Academy of Latvia, Graphics Department (1988, thesis supervisor Aleksandrs Stankevičs). Since the end of the eighties, Ieva Caruka regularly holds solo exhibitions and works as an art teacher.
Ieva Caruka emerged on the Latvian art scene as an author of outstanding and sensual works at the turn of the eighties and nineties. Ieva Caruka’s artistic language is based on modern art – you can feel it in her art form as well as the content. At the center of Caruka’s art are human and space, human and others, human and the various points of view on which the plastic, sensual, and also ethical observation depends. Metaphorical exaggeration, conditionality, symbolic accents, decorativeness, and special virtuosity characterize the line and colorful textures of Ieva Caruka. Her stories are her observations that tend to make generalizations about people. The specific expressions are summed up in the typical and rounded with pop art characteristic (populist) lightness. An unshakable faith in the positive energy of love is at the center of the themes of Ieva Caruka’s graphics and paintings. Love as the key to humanity, harmonizing relationships and giving meaning. It’s accompanied by the artist’s faith in color, its irreproachable brightness and contrasts.
Curator of the exhibition Inga Šteimane.