Jana Štok is a sensitive follower of the outside world, its natural realities and local landscape particularities which she studies from the point of view of an artist aware of the role and power of artistic means of expression and of the meaning of personal, intimate experiences and perceptions of nature. Therefore, she frees herself from a mere vision of the world, but applies a research approach instead. Playfully and inquisitively original, she creates its radically transformed, minimalistic image, restricted to individual signs that form an abstracted image. In this image, the connection to the outside world is maintained by association of identifiable, metaphorical, or symbolic fragments.
Abstraction creates endless possibilities for the painter to express herself and to combine different approaches and ways of artistic visualisation. Abstraction is the artistic space where she feels free, yet she still tends to confine it within the requirements of artistic syntax. Texture, which is actually a visual and tactile characteristic of a surface, is especially important in her creative work. She elaborates texture in relation to the framing artistic elements such as dot, line, colour, and intensifies it by applying collage technique for which she uses her own, resourcefully recycled notes that belong to various disciplines of art.
All the painter’s experiences appear in an imaginary record made by way of the language of signs and symbols, which are the main elements of the language of abstraction. Among the most frequently used shapes are those of a circle and a square, a soft and an angular form which also represent the forms of life with all their analogies. The selected forms vary continuously, undergoing numerous metamorphoses, yet they are always revived as either a whole, a fragment of any other hence derived sub-form. Likewise, Jana Štok frequently uses lightly-drawn little circles and dots derived from the mother of all forms, from the form of perfection. Appearing as points or aesthetic patterns, they make it possible for the whole to acquire the desired firmness and composition balance. Rhythms and repetitions of dots on the one hand, and calligraphic fluency of lines on the other hand, lead to creations which comprise both, a primary artistic record, and pattern design schemes which take on the form of aesthetic perfection.
Although drawing and graphic elements are well pronounced in Jana Štok’s works, those are made nobler by subtle, gentle, pastel colour hues, namely antique white, renaissance pink, and brown. Their combinations are pleasant, while new correlations among them conjure a specific colour atmosphere. However, as far as acrylic paintings are concerned, the painter opts for a wider colour range, based on combinations of colour contrasts.
Jana Štok’s works are a passage through the playful composition of structures, lines, shapes, spaces and colours, as well as a walk through the pure pleasure of creating in different media.
In Jana Štok’s works, painting surfaces are perfect artistic entities, composed with a sharp feeling of composition balance. Besides inner composition, the painter is also interested in spatial and colour correlations, structure and texture. She intensifies noble artistic effects by means of layering. Mysterious translucent passages reminding of palimpsest invite the eye to go deeper, reaching for areas under the surface. She uses signs and symbols as carriers of her artistic language and lets them find their meaning and the place in which they are to float. So, they seem like they do not belong to worldly life, let alone the artist’s personal life, but they actually reach for the vastness of the universe. Her language is clear, purified, even minimalistic at times. But at the same time it is the artistic richness that reveals itself in each element of the painting to impress us with its micro-structural effects.
Jana Štok was able to elaborate distinct codes of creating and painting over a relatively short time. Surface planes, primary artistic interventions, a flair for composing shapes, patterns, structures, colours, imprinting, gluing, as well as direct artistic experiences are becoming the identifiable elements and quality of Jana Štok’s work. It appears that her graphic and artistic activities are an upgrade of her almost ten-year long devotion to art photography as a member of the Sežana photo club Žarek, and of her work with stone during her studies. Being a sensitive observer and collector of motifs for her camera, she has thus become a tireless author of graphic art prints upgraded with collage elements, and an artist exploring various art mediums.
Jana Štok’s latest works, created over the past year and now, present their noble artistic and aesthetic character, but at the same time they open up possibilities for further research into the enigmatic world of fine art. A series of small formats bear witness to the artist’s inclination to artistic purity, while at the same time she tends to develop her sense of detail. With every painting she aims to make better art, thus creating her own, true path for herself. On this path she encounters the tradition of master artists of the broader Primorsko area. In this way the painter gives evidence of the fact that one is defined by the place of one’s existence and experience, including its factual and cultural features, which she intertwines with her personal and creative power and persuasion. She does this with the help of creative technical means, procedures, methods, recipes, and in her artistic way of dealing with a play of contrasts.
Anamarija Stibilj Šajn