Norbert Tappert's (b. 1976) solo presentation entitled The Side Effect of Relativity (after a key series of works) provides a timely probe into the artist's branching oeuvre over the past few years. It is a concentrated expression of his form of "symbolic pop decadence", which he defined in his own Manifesto in 2022. Here, the singing Slovakian environment collides with the Kafkaesque gloomy space of Prague. The author becomes a guide through the mysterious corridors of the soul and the intricate world, and the paintings become artfully gateways to a strange visual world where fragile, vulnerable, romantic and surreal scenes come to life, but also expressive, raw, sexually animalistic and perhaps voyeuristic and existential scenes. But all of this is contained in simple figurative or landscape compositions that are opportunities to explore a new, unrefined, brutally beautiful poetic reality. The entry into this visual feerie is the primary photographs and the author's short texts (the characteristic Norbis Pictus series). A decadent visual ALCHEMY is revealed before us - a visionary blend of many contrasts and unconventional "cries of life". The provocativeness of the situations posed and the confrontation of symbols in the dance of sinful or taboo scenes bursts out of the paintings. Here, Pop Art's signal colouring meets melancholic imagery in the light of shadows and mysterious images of reality, dream and imagination.

In Tappert we find a unique approach of seizing and materializing selected well-established motifs and their obsessive repetition and interpretation in various media (poetry, acrylic painting, photographic black and white enlargements, cyanotypes and their collaging). We find here a repetitiveness of motifs and symbols - the constant appearance of female nudes, death masks and gas masks, thick books, burning candles, but also visions of fragrant flowers, gardens of colour and still lifes. The author also attaches a deeper meaning to the chosen symbols and expresses it succinctly himself as follows: "Nudity carries the power of sincerity, the grim reaper reminds us of the inevitability of finality, the gas mask symbolizes the masks we wear in society, while books are the gateway to understanding the mystery of existence".

Vlad B. Skid, exhibition curator