Oleg Ikona

Oleg Ikona

London, Fulham, United Kingdom

About Oleg Ikona

Born in the USSR. Studied in Russia and UK. Live and work in London.
I create icons, but my forms of iconography are unlike any other. My icons are contemporary cultural hybrids; unusual, unnerving, stark and controversial.

“Oleg's highly attractive ‘symbolic sculptures’ may not seem innocuous, but they are beguiling – and contain a myriad of tensions. He has transformed the art of icon making – the all-powerful nature of a created symbol – and tried to liberate the icons which pervade society, from their conventional roles. His art joins precise sacred paintings with interactive electronics, such as microchips, mobile phones, radios and plastic toys – juxtaposing religious iconography with modern consumerism.

But the creating this symbiosis between the imagery of modern world and the religious myths, Oleg has created a new commentary on popular culture. His icons represent the changing times of our society, peoples attitudes, politics, and as he says “the unification of two polar things: old magic and new technologies.”

The art which Oleg produces has the unique ability of provoking the mind and the heart, which makes it doubly combustible. What’s interesting is how our environment has become so pervaded with icons, so saturated with symbols which aren’t just revered, but also derided, spoofed, and mixed, that people seem to have become immune to any mixing that takes place, and can be comfortably indifferent to the amalgamation of sacred symbols.”

Brandon Hooper

Oleg Ikona has exhibited widely in Europe and America, bailed as a witty inventor, cosmopolitan and poetic; yet in Russia be encounters widespread State and Church criticism for the anti-religious morality of his work. At 2004 after religious attacks on his art he left Russia for UK as refugee. His studio with art works in St. Petersburg burned down a month after he escaped. No one found guilty.

Education

BA (Hons) Painting, College of Arts, Luhansk, Ukraine - 1974-1979
MFA, Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia 1983-1990
Diploma in Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts, UK, 1991

Events

1989 - Curator, Art Academy, Orhus, Denmark
1994 - National Team Curator, Stubnitz Culture Festival, Hamburg, Germany,
1995 - Curator, Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
1996 - Curator, Contemporary Art from St. Petersburg, City Hall, Kotka, Finland
1996 - 2004 – Project coordinator, Summer Festival, Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
2000 – Curator, British Arts Council in St. Petersburg, Russia
2002 - PA, art project “Helden der Arbeit”, Berlin, Germany
2002 - PA, S.P.A.S. Society, St. Petersburg, Russia
2003 - Curator, Art project “Navigation“, in co-operation with Gillian Mc’ Iver, Kronstadt, Russia
2003 - Project coordinator, City’s Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
2007 - Curator, Solana Gallery London

Exhibitions

SELECTED:
2018 Andreas Kirche, Bergish Gladbach, Germany
2015 Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, USA
2013 Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin, Germany
2010 Krista Mikkola Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2008 HMS President (1918), London, UK 2007
2007 SOLANA Gallery, London
2001-2006 MEZZO Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2005 View Two Gallery, Liverpool, UK
2000-2005 Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, USA
2004 Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2001-2004 Art Moscow Fair, Russia 2001-2004
2003 Delta Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia
2003 State City Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
2003 Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, UK
2002 Pussy Galore Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2002 Stadtgalerie Bremen, Germany
2001 Burgkloster Exhibition Hall, Lubeck, Germany
1995-2004 S.P.A.S. Gallery St. Petersburg, Russia
2000 Glass Palace, Helsinki, Finland
2000 Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
1999 Kunsthalle Lubeck, German
1998 Contemporary Art Center, Warsaw, Poland
1994 1020 gallery, Wien, Austria
1993 Ben Uri Art Society, London, UK
1991 Solstice gallery, Edinburgh, UK
1989 Academy of Art, Orhus, Denmark