Salt Lake City, UT: 2003. Print. [Image: 44.6cm x 29.3cm. Mat 54.6cm x 38cm. Frame 56.5cm x 39.8cm]. Black and white illustration from an etching depicting a crowded image around the figure of a head and several anthropomorphic bug/human creatures. Near fine. Item #59707
Artist Statement: My early professional life was closely connected with the theater. I graduated from the Moscow Art College with a B.F.A. in set and costume design. the knowledge of theater technology, periods of architecture and experience in detailed drafting helped me become a better printmaker. I was inspired and influenced by the engravings of the masters of Northern Renaissance, such as Durer, Breugel, and Schongauer. I used the old technique of engraving, characteristic for these masters and I often bestowed some allegorical meanings on the figurative images I was representing. Lately, though,my interests have changed. I realized the necessity to "live in my own time" and "to speak the language of today". I gradually stated inserting more personal and "contemporary" topics into my work, such as portraits of my family members and friends and a series of self-portraits, incorporating the details of my recent past as a stage designer. The path I followed required m to do extensive reading, beginning with ancient Greek literature and culminating with contemporary American novels. Literature became a preeminent source of my inspiration. I grew up in USSR, a society that was supposed to be the first utopia in the history of humankind. The goals of ultimate justice, equality, and brotherhood were never realized. This explains why the topics of illusion and disillusionment became important themes of my work. My favorite writers, to whose literary heritage I constantly refer, are Borges, Nabokov and Kafka. Their works are filled with the twisted labyrinths of the mind, depicting troubled souls deceived by chimera, false vision, and humbuggery of the surrounding world. I explore these same themes in my prints. I try not to forget that for many millennia people thought the earth was flat. My Paramount interest in art is the juxtaposition of reality and illusion. My prints refer to my emigration experience, which tore me out of a familiar environment and deposited me into another one, where I did not seem to belong. For a long time I felt as though I was in Limbo. Everything around me seemed unreal, fictitious. The feeling of "not belonging" is an important element of my work. the hollow facades of the buildings or frightening surreal creatures, which are looming over the characters in my prints are reminiscent of theatrical "flats", where painted canvas is stretched over wooden frames. The "unreality" and theatricality of these elements signifies that the safe world of sturdy floors and perpendicular walls is lost forever for my lonely protagonists.