Ante Žaja rođen je 17.09. 1966. u Sinju.
1988. upisuje studij na ALU u Zagrebu, nastavnički odsjek.
Sljedeće godine prešao na slikarski odsjek.
1994. diplomirao je slikarstvo u klasi prof. Đure Sedera.
Za diplomski rad dobio je nagradu ALU.
1994. primljen u članstvo HDLU-a
1997-98. živi i radi u Pragu
1998. primljen u članstvo HZSU-a (Zajednica Samostalnih Umjetnika)
Od 1993. do danas aktivno izlaže samostalno i grupno u zemlji i inozemstvu (Njemačka, Danska, Engleska, Češka, Italija i Turska).
Studijski boravio i radio u Njemačkoj, Češkoj i Engleskoj.
O njegovom umjetničkom radu su afirmativno pisali: Sandra Križić-Roban, Darko Glavan, Tonko Maroević, Nada Beroš, Mladenka Šolman, Enes Quien, Goran Blagus, Sandi Vidulić, Silva Kalčić i dr.
Umjetnički se izražava kroz instalacije, slike, objekte i fotografije.
1993. - izložba "AKADEMSKE SLIKE" - GALERIE IM ALTEN RATHAUS, SCHECHEN, ROSENHEIM
1994. - izložba "QVARTVS DECIMVS" - GALERIJA SC, ZAGREB
- izložba "FONTE DI ENERGIA" - FOTO GALERIJA KIC-a, ZAGREB
1995. - izložba "FONTE DI ENERGIA" - GALERIJA FORUMA MLADIH, VARAŽDIN
- izložba "TRINITET" - SALON GALERIJE KARAS, ZAGREB
1997. - izložba "TRASH ROCK CAFFE" - MODERNA GALERIJA ZAGREB, STUDIO "JOSIP RAČIĆ"
1999. - izložba "ZLATNO TELE(VIZIJA)" - GALERIJA GALŽENICA, VELIKA GORICA
2002. - izložba "CRNO-ŽUTI, TUTTI-FRUTTI" - GALERIJA BECK, ZAGREB
2003. - izložba "REQVIEM" - GALERIJA UMJETNINA , SPLIT
- izložba "TUTTI-FRUTTI" - GALERIJA BRANKO DEŠKOVIĆ, BOL
2004. - izložba "MRTVE SLIKE" - GALERIJA RAZVID, ZAPREŠIĆ
2008 - izložba "KULA BABILONSKA" - GRADSKA GALERIJA A. GOJAK, MAKARSKA
TV izložba 1997. "TRASH ROCK CAFFE", režija: ALEM ĐURIĆ, HTV '97
Ante Žaja was born in 1966 in Sinj. He took his degree in
painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, in class of
professor Đuro Seder. He lived from 1997-1999 in Prague.
Ivana Kukuljevića 24
BLACK-AND-YELLOW TUTTI FRUTTI
The New Cycle of Ante Žaja
With each new exhibition the work of Ante Žaja shows the increasing paradoxal line between the perishable and elite, the cheap and sophisticated, the monosemic and widesensed, the recognizable and dogmatic. Always using the signs and symbols of the mass provenance, evenmore, the media most applicable forms of social communication, the author is trying to find the ways of some turnaround meanings, or at least, ironical transposition, if not even a real alchemical transfiguration. His undoubted manual skills were put into service of the highest requests of his own mental combinatory, as he has shown at the very first start, by his exhibition named with a farewell title: "Academic pictures".
As well stated by Nada Beroš, the "consistency of the work of Ante Žaja derives from his opsession by inversion". That is why the author implies to the appearently closest and within everyones reach: the kitsch, the cheap commercial, inflated, trash symbolism. Dealing with such a material, he believes to demonstrate in the best way his method of changing symbols: the lower the sample is being situated, the higher the process of transformation goes in the outcome.
I am not certain that he would have such illusions, yet, it cannot go without invertion anyhow. He has to react to the atmosphere, he must confront himself with developments which bombard him from the visual side, they iritate, they stick him.
In the cycle "Trash Rock Caffe" he is facing the everyday atmosphere, with the frightful visual noise of logotypes and ideograms of the most popular cafes, but as well, he is implicitly entering the complexed problem of activeness (or passiveness) in designing of public places.
Because, one thing is to play and make fun with the "styling" of conventional concepts, but still there is an open question how to make a really creative contribution. It looks like Žaja is consciously "grabbing" in the gap between the ease of imitation and the hard-achievable unique, in other words, he accepts the aporia of the massmedia approach.
To a certain point he has found a solution in the (temporary) cycle "Trinity". Through five separate unities he has practically studied the polarity between metaphysics and the consummerable, finding the same validities existing in the universum, as well as in people behaviour, in their religious principles and the practice of propaganda, as well. Here at hand, in a reductive-caricatured manner, he has personally stylized the used phenomenons to the level of individual graphism, in order to achieve more easily the necessary rhetorical cliched expression.
Without the third, it seems impossible to reach the tensive creative space. If two given components are not enough to cause the "short circuit" to sparkle a new suggestion, then the work has no immagination, there is no creative effect at all. This why Ante Žaja mostly uses the evidental binarism and the latent (triad) interweaving. In order to define the double polarity, we have spoken about the extreme kitsch and stylization, trash, however, the definite duality can be recognized in his consistent using of yellow and black colour.
On the usual railtracks of yellowness and blackness, this time the author has put out the cycle of coloured fruits.
The heavy black edges and the standardized yellow or orange on foundation both help to form the background for imitating a commercial sintaga of a multi-vitamine-juice producer, in the artwork hyperrealistic manner. There is a whole line of different sorts of fruits in the triangle composition: from grapes to a pine-apple, from banana and apple, from peach to a rosehip, from an orange to lemmon, all of them mimeticly, almost hapticly presented ad usum populi. Devoted to the commercial sources, the authorgoes from all shades of yellow or orange on foundation and the contrast on the motive, to a passive overdrawing and artistic interpretation of the pattern.
While earlier he was content with the "found object", collage or a simple citate, now he brought back the motive "still life" to the classical media, which already leaves him priority in the historical sense and from his work.
However, the "Still Life", when shown as a multiplied painting, is twice dead, killed in twosquare. And even if the modern artist cannot bring it to life, even he cannot fill the dried-up meanings with fluids, at least he can try to recycle what has become a trash. The shematism of visual signs is added by an ortogonal crossword puzzle of a complexed (or riddle) verbal filling. Though, even completed and filled-in with letters, the riddle of drawn squares offers the option of polyvalental reading (not to mention the compositional variables in layout of the black fields. And when it is empty, virtual, the crossword puzzle really becomes enigmaticly multiambiguous.
So then, at the crossing of picture and word, at the crossroad of well-known, yet never completely got to get known, Ante Žaja fits in his visual installations and provocative semantic situations. Not coincidentally, we believe, he has used so far many expressions from Latin and English, as universal languages- certain koines - , since even on a verbal level he seeks for the communicational embrace of the contrast. Therefore, it is to say that he horizontally lays down the serial icons, cutting them vertically by the curious aleatoric: as long as we wonder about the double-down of the work layers, as long as we pick on the sing registry not with indifference, this long the bontage keeps functioning.