These series of paintings are inspired by some of the most famous and recognizable works of art ranging from art of ancient Egypt to more contemporary masters such as Edouard Manet and Arshile Gorky. It is a humorous play on works which inspire one as an artist but also become a common place in populous mind, a staple picture when one mentions the illusive word "art". With time even the greatest works such as Rodin's "The Thinker" or Manet's "Olympia" are transferred into a subconscious clich" of sorts, kitschy yet required to know and recognize. This often comes with the "fame" attributed to a particular work. In the way it is the very element of popularity that destroys the privacy of the work of art, undressing it bare to the masses, eliminating any deeper meaning or personality, making it into a mere poster or postcard in our minds. Similar phenomena happens to the artist, writer or musician, who plunges headlong into a world of fame that both inspires and brings dread. I decided to explore this subconsciously recognizable and subliminal realm of popular art. By incorporating familiar works of art from different eras and infusing them with a measure of surreal reality, I wish to rejuvenate them. Contemporary writers, poets, musicians, archeologists, artists, teachers, family and friends are placed against the backdrop of well-known images. All of them are good friends, who went along with this project willingly and with a great dose of enthusiasm and sense of humor. Each painting represents a real person, based on their life, character and passions, more an homage than a portrait. Thus the viewer should be slightly tricked, first reacting to a familiar painting only to realize that it is not truly the painting of their subconscious memory, and only then to react to the implicit humor and nuances of the particular work and its character. In the end the show would represent a true installation come alive, since the models of the paintings will be present at the show, thus bringing the paintings into life, adding a unique surreal flare and humor to this Fellinesque ordeal. Once again the reality is represented multilayered and surreal, with a touch of humor and irony.
The 8th of March or Riding the Red Horse, oil/canvas (2008)
Classical Greek red-figure vase painting depicting the battle with the Amazons, inspiration for The 8th of March
Edgar Degas's The Dancing Class, inspiration for Ballet
Ballet, oil/canvas (2004) (36x48in/92x122cm)
"Have a cigarette!", oil/canvas, 2007, 30x24 in
"Odessa couple", oil/canvas, 2007, 60x50 in.
Physical Education, oil/canvas (2004) (36x48in/92x122cm)
Ramses Smiting the Enemy, from Hathor temple at Abu Simbel, inspiration for Physical Education
Mummification scene from the Coffin of Djedhoriufankh, inspiration for Something's Fishy
Something's Fishy, oil/canvas (2004) (48x24in/22x61cm)
"Romantique", oli/cancas, 2008 42х60 in.