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 © The Valentine Ryabov Gallery. Contemporary and modern art. Painting, sculpture, graphics, photo.

"Artist Sergey Fedotov - mental provocateur". An article by art critique Valentine Ryabov.

07.03.2014

Artist Sergey Fedotov - mental provocateur. 

 

 

Participation in foreign exhibition projects is a costly enterprise. Expenses may varie from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for an event. However there is no alternative, in any other case the artist will be "outboard" of the world cultural events.

 

Despite the impetuous development of the Internet as a showroom for the new art world, large exhibition forums with live contacts between artists, collectors, gallery owners and curators continue to take place. It's here where names, popularity, ratings and prices are made.

 

And how can one substitute first hand contact with a work of art with a picture from a computer monitor. Especially if the artist uses traditional materials and techniques peculiar to academic genres and by and atour boldly experiments on canvas, breaking the boundaries of the flat possibilities of a computer screen. The Internet doesn't reproduce all the depth and craftsmanship of an artist, who is skilled in the glaze technique, doesn't convey the change of color and the texture of oil painting - it's unique! And this is when you can't do without visual, mental and even tactile contact.

 

Against a background of such titled for American pop culture names as Raushenberg, Chamberlain, Warhol, Hearst - the new generation of artists reach out into even more inaccessible figurative spaces. And only few masters attempt to convey the energy of contemporary images through contact with paints and canvases.

 

Trends to return to graphic art, used by old masters are also welcomed by contemporary art lovers in the States. The most visited stand at the last Art Basel Miami was the Rockefeller foundation collection, that presented paintings by Chagall, Picasso, Renoir.

 

The young American culture is moving from the simple to complicated, rapidly developing spirally, mastering and accumilating the best world accomplishments, processing or fully incorporating them into the "Made in USA" brand. It's obvious that such evolutionary development is due to a number of conditions, that are not subject to change even in times of crisis. Once again we could witness this during our last trip to Los Angeles with a new collection of Sergey Fedotov's artworks.

 

The artists paintings, if one could say so, don't demolish the fundumental conception of the American public about art and don't attempt to prove superiority of one or another art school. Each of Fedotov's pieces of art provokes the genetic memory that was inherited from their fathers and mothers by modern byers and collectors of contemporary art. Yes, ther's no mistake! This is exactly the level where our concions says - we lived with these paintings some time in the past,and it was wonderful!

 

As Soviet people were brought up on the textbook "Russian language" where the texts were illustrated by images of landscapes by Polenov and Levitan from the collections of The Tretyakov Gallery and The Russian Museum. And now these images are forever implanted in our minds and national self-identification.

 

«…Here in America we have a long tradition of artists that were of course historically very tied to the impressionists movements that was very affected by artists from Russia. And although all those artists came in much later in history I think for us to be able to see an artist who has those roots but who is a contemporary artist to have an art form, and move into a full new concept, this is very exciting for Americans… I think for a lot of Americans who love the impressionists, Sergey has been much more like a “delicacy”…» (Fragment of an interview with Lee Ann Lester, organizer of the Miami International art Fair).
  

 
I would say that Fedotov's artwork, in the context of the American market, can be considered as "provocatively rehabilitating". It provokes little by little, through the correctly chosen format, color, texture, sometimes through a "cry from the heart".

 

Provokes fresh notes of taste, positive perception of life, lost in the day-to-day business routine. It rehabilitates the presentation of one or another living image to the brain, like in the Hollywood blockbuster "Total recall" staring Schwarzenegger, where the hero remembers himself and his long wished past that's worth returning to in today's present.

 

Valentine Ryabov,
Art critique

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