Tomaž Lavrič: Comics

Tomaž Lavrič: Self-portrait

9. 3.- 6. 6. 2010
Moderna galerija, Tomšičeva 14

The varied production of the most recognizable contemporary comic artist in Slovenia, whose work is highly regarded also internationally. This chameleon comic strip artist is best known to the general public as the socially and politically engaged author of the "Diareja" newspaper strip and caricatures in the weekly Mladina.

Tomaž Lavrič is a member of a generation of artists that started seriously working with comics in the mid-1980s. This was the so-called "Mladina circle": artists who gathered around the weekly Mladina and its editor Ivo Standeker and raised art comics in Slovenia to an enviable level. Developing their own individual styles, the artists had one trait in common: they all dealt with current social and political topics. Lavrič explained this thusly: "Mladina has always been a critical, politically engaged magazine, and as such no place for some bland superhero comics. Thus it became second nature to us that real comics too were politically engaged and critical."

In this spirit Lavrič started making his Diareja (Diarrhea), now perhaps the most widely recognized newspaper strip in Slovenia. In the nineties he published a few of the graphic novels which had been previously published in Mladina under his own publisher brand. His debut Red Alert - Dark Days (1996) is an autobiographic portrayal of the Ljubljana punk scene. The graphic novel got its "comic book soundtrack" by the neo-punk band Racija. It was followed by Ratman (1997), a local superhero social and political parody, and Bosnian Fables (1997), a collection of stories of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He enters the new millennium with a collection of black humor stories under the collective titles Extreme Sports 1 & 2. In 2004 he published the comic album Blind Sun, a series of nine short, cataclysmic stories with poetic text.

Tomaz Lavrič was born in Ljubljana on November 10. After finishing the secondary school of graphic design he continued his studies at the department of painting at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts.
He has worked continuously with the weekly magazine Mladina since 1987, marking the beginning of his professional career in illustration, caricature and the graphic novel. In addition to the comic strip he also works with illustration and writing in various forms.

The exhibition catalogue includes text by Spela Standeker; Bojana Rogina wrote the artist's biography and compiled the bibliography. The catalogue was designed by David Krančan. Exhibition is curated by Igor Španjol.

This project was realised in collaboration with Galerija Miklova hiša from Ribnica and has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Mladina and Stripburger.

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