An essay (and not a biography) characterizing the oil paitings of Tibor Simon-Mazula for a brochure on the artist (to accompany gallery shows in Miami and Marin County).
Tibor Simon-Mazula draws upon his background in mathematics, filmmaking, and cinematography to create crepuscular scenes, often containing solitary figures within the structure of a room (not unlike Bacon's space cages). Are they lonesome or simply singular bathers --among other types of models he uses -- which occupy Tibor's canvases and emerge from twilight? The artist recently wrote, "my work describes a special intimate moment, when the figure is alone and able to emerge...;" into a nascent moment or from their physical "nadir," as the artist once suggested. No doubt they are metaphoric of moments of advent, dawning consciousness, the moment when something becomes evident to the mind and its subsequent bodily response.
The artist's hazy strokes paradoxically veil and reveal the figures which enable them to transcend the particular to become universal and timeless. They are, as American Art Collector Magazine (10/13) described them, "shadow-cloaked" yet 'light' still plays a role in his, at times, seemingly monochromatic palette of gun-blue or mortar, where, however, small areas of buff or flesh-colored tones emerge from the gloam. His friends and family (particularly his wife) are his subjects; they are textured and visually tactile, impastoed in oil paints, sometimes enriched with bone ash or marble dust. Tibor's lofty point of view is reminiscent of a 'shot' achieved by a camera boom to record a fragmentary episode. The distance the viewer feels (between the shared perspective with the artist and his model), still permits some intimacy with the human subjects who occupy anonymous domestic interiors. Ultimately, these figures in their concrete-toned "rooms" are about both psychological and physical interiority.
The large scale of Tibor's canvases make them impactful and help to establish a mood -- pensive, at times even giving the impression of melancholy or mystery, often enhanced by the sometime inclusion of abbreviated patches, creating deliberate ambiguity. His subjects seem to to suggest limens -- thresholds of their physiological or psychological response to the conditions with which Tibor Simon-Mizula has bestowed upon them. Like the Old English version of the word dawn, "dauen" suggests, Tibor's canvases seemingly capture that moment between darkness and growing light, in the rooms, minds, and bodies referenced in his paintings.
From time to time, Tibor surprises with unmodulated bright color such as his his canvas titled "Peacock" (2012, Private Collection).
---observations by an art writer: DCVR, 2016