I wanted to estimate the work of Ali Oseku, for some time now.
I have the pleasure to do so, impersonating a little the role of a curator, hoping that I have underlined the most important things, first by the selection of his works, but also by argumentation based on history and the evolution of his work. This is an exhibition to stop by, not only for it’s values but because Ali Oseku is one of the examples that represent an essential moment for the estimation of the modern art in Albania, as well, where the efforts for a new type of art, were evidenced mostly during the second half of the last century. Ali Oseku, the legend of the dictatorship epoch, the artist that never agreed with the creative method of socialist realism.
He was an autodidact in his works, which lead in the foundation of a personal aesthetic institution, so complex, that influenced in the creation of the image of an ant conformist artist, which reflected rebellion.
In the first chapter, as I’m calling it, his work can’t be determined only with his paintings. His appearance in public was another performance, a demonstration through a configuration invented on purpose, the way he dressed, the way he walked and so many other details. This was a relational attitude, in the aesthetic meaning, which enriched his artistic expression by another artistic device, such as performance. His first painting references came from impressionism, as he used to say, “I hang out with Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali”, and the demonstration come as a result of a strong intuition as an artist that demanded the necessary space and the right form to express himself. After all, the creative outcome is connected with the artist’s temper and integrity, and of course with the faith and the sacrifices and all of this have forage strength and unstoppable rhythm in his work.
The intensive colors of his paintings, the expressivity of the drawings and the scene-designing at the theatre associate the first notion, he should be the example of the modern artist and the modern man, with all his being. But he was much more than this.
Today, his paintings are a continuity of all the elements which use to define his modernism.
What else represent his paintings today, what does they manifest?
They objectify the slam of the penitentiary door behind his back, when he found himself alone in the street, without knowing where to go, and what to do. Here begins the second part of his story. That moment must have been full of tension, emotive and psychological, a reflective and liability moment, and in the same time a moment full of hope and love, a starting point. But his way was misty and was impossible to see ahead.
In Ali’s paintings there are no figurations. When you stand in front of one of his paintings, you distinguish a mountain, but then it takes the shape of a crater, in another painting you see a shining object and think of the sun. In another one there is a vertiginous vortex, and you think of the genesis of the world. Isn’t this enough to express his sufferings? Isn’t this the truth of his work, behind the radiance of impressionism and the colorful landscapes inspirited from the dream? I do believe this, because he doesn’t lie. He says the truth, as always, and because of that he suffered a harsh punishment.
Now he learned to observe the reality, maybe in the same way he observed his prison cell, chew his pain and reflect about the shape, the colors and the ideas that he has in mind.
This is how I read his work. This artist that never lies, this time has not come to entertain, but to remind us.