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Recycled Icon # 4 Print

Oleksandr Balbyshev


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About The Artwork

This artwork is part of my new series of works in which I try to re-contextualize religious objects. By retooling the religious work of art, I intend to add new layers to the original. Through the manipulation of these objects, I mean to acknowledge, to underscore, that religious images can, and often do, manipulate us. In so many innumerable ways, the painting becomes a unit of measure of our own worth—I wish to subvert and question this measure. Apart from an interrogation of religious art and its history, my work is also an investigation of mark-making and, by extension, experimentation in composition, color, and form. I am curious about the use of marks to signify complicated contextual queues and to signify potentially life-altering deliberation. Peripherally, I am interested in color dis/harmony and the function of color and forms (either together or separately) to convey purpose, meaning, and experience. Through a variety of media, I have chosen as my inspiration a color palette that is at times complementary and, at other times, purposefully contradictory or seemingly “destructive.” The material destruction of an object is subordinate or altogether inferior, in my mind, to the overall effect created by the aesthetic-emotional experience of the reclaimed and marked object or image. I openly play with the allure of foreign and aggressive new colors and forms, inviting these technical elements into the otherwise undisputed familiar and traditional visual territory. Barriers and obstacles are thereby erected between the viewer and the object through which one must negotiate an understanding of what is both present and hidden. What does the creation of new meaning tell us about old meanings or meaning in general? Despite everything, and true to my postmodern roots, in the end, as in the beginning, I leave the activity, reception, and understanding of my work entirely in the viewer's hands.

Details & Dimensions

Print:Giclee on Fine Art Paper

Size:9 W x 12 H x 0.1 D in

Size with Frame:14.25 W x 17.25 H x 1.2 D in

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Oleksandr Balbyshev was born in 1985 in Ukraine, one of the biggest Soviet Republics. After graduating from The Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture in 2012, he was working in the sphere of architecture and design. But two years later, in connection with the revolutionary events in Ukraine, a serious financial crisis began. In 2016 Oleksandr lost his job. He decided to change activities and become an artist. Oleksandr currently lives and works in Dnipro, Ukraine. The most important themes in Oleksandr’s art are male sexuality and sensuality. But it’s a means rather than an end in itself. Artist wants the viewer to see the realm of ideas in faces and bodies not only a realistic image of a human. He tries to combine in his paintings realities, as visions of worlds within worlds. They show us an image of ourselves and also hint that there is more to us than we know. Another important part of Oleksandr’s art is to modify old Soviet-era portraits of Lenin. Artist finds original portraits and sculptures of Lenin made in the Soviet era on flea markets and on announcements on the Internet. He paints on top of old portraits of Lenin fragments from famous paintings or drip paint on them, cut the canvases into pieces and glue them in a chaotic manner, let them paint them for children, he paints the sculptures in funny colors and glues them with various objects. As a result of this artistic gesture, the artist erases the propaganda and ideological meanings of the image, at the same time endowing it with decorative qualities. However, with all the fun of this manipulation, the artwork acquires new meanings, an antinomical combination of play and seriousness, prompting the viewer to go beyond the accepted paradigm. His paintings are in private collections in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, and Japan.

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