Woodcut, no date

50 x 75 cm

Inv. no. G 44

The fundamental basis of Mihelič’s fantastical imaginarium is represented by the unfathomable primordial forces of nature, expressed in the mysteriously eery images of forests, which had been imprinted in his subconsciousness during his youth and later during war years, thus becoming one of the key elements in his creative work, alongside the image of the Kurent. In the print Musicians from the ‘50s, the artist depicted the motif of a grotesque orchestra of tree musicians witch branching bodies, skeletons and demons at the same time. By entwining the human and the plant, he created anthropomorphic tree creatures, wooden forest monsters that seem like branchy scarecrows who are simultaneously their own instruments. The tragically grotesque demonic skeletal musicians are stringed together in a rigid rhythm, and by playing the melancholic melody of death, these vegetal skeletons announce the transition from the landscape of life to the non-space of death. Mihelič’s creative world, rooted in archaic Slovenian mythological tradition and merged with a personal fantastical and expressive approach, is articulated in his drawing through distinctive lines, whose sharpness further emphasises the brittle state of decaying and decomposing bodies, thus giving them the mark of transience.

Text: Katarina Hergold Germ

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