D - 140 см
2016
Materials: inkjet print on stg-10 cotton, wooden panel
Category: painting
Item Number: 004327
347 380 / 4 000 €
About the Work
About the Artist

Modern people do not always have the strength to measure the authenticity of events while browsing the news feed on an electronic device. The flow of images and their structure cannot but resemble the genre of "trickery" ("tromp-l'oeil") of theatrical and decorative art of the XVI-XVII centuries, which sought to replace reality with its imitation. When this genre originated, the theme of the deceptive illusory image received its status of legitimacy. The modern world fully embodies the "trompe-l'oeil" conception - a delusive appearance, reality, or rather, something that imitates reality (the principle of mimesis). Ambiguity, obscurity, variability is characteristic of the world, which is in ongoing circulation of information. Deceit and misconception have gained a new artistic dimension. Looking around now, it's hard to understand what kind of spectacle society we live in, and what is this tedious drama of diversity all about. Man in the modern world is not the measure of all things, as it used to be.

The uniqueness of any aesthetic experience and its growing exponentially diversity is the reaction of humanity to the infinity of the world, which has been rediscovered by virtue of the latest mass media, and which sometimes pulls the ground out from under its feet. There aren't many things that can prove to us that we're still human. The very fact of referring to the category of "beauty "in the works of Oleg Matrokhin, its use, in fact, is an attempt to reconsider the few proofs of the existence of "beautiful " in its literal and figurative sense.

Oleg deliberately plays with stylization, literally introducing the works into the context and aesthetics of the XVIII th century - it is important for him to designate a historical parallel and show continuity. So, in the XVIII century, humanity first discovered the infinity of the surrounding world as at this time were invented the devices such as the telescope and microscope, and it is also scientifically confirmed that the Universe is infinite. The idea of the boundless amazes the human mind. The discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum also became the starting point for the development of classicism. In the era of the XXI century, a person has learned new media - he is again on the threshold of the infinity of the world, the world of globalization and endless social networks.

One of the most important topics for discussion with the audience for Oleg is the thesis about how substantial it is to remain a person in this fleetingly transforming world, how important it is to preserve a human approach to reality. An appeal to the fragile and subtle theme of beauty and to such a concept as "prettiness", which now has no place in the world. Beauty is not the goal of art, but beauty as a problem, which shows us the forced drama of diversity in which we live.

The works often find their starting point in the immediate experience of the world around - fragments of the everyday life, social situations that I can emotionally relate to and their visual representation in the media and pop culture. Taking visual clues from different sources such as images of friends, screenshots of strangers on the instagram, pictures from fashion magazines and video stills, I then interpret them in a way that creates my own fiction.

Taken out of their original context, the characters become imaginary and dream-like. Sometimes isolated, sometimes as a group, they reflect the time of uncertainty that we live in now, longing for a human connection and yet finding peace in the solitude. However, there is neither a back story, nor a future one, but they are caught somewhere in-between, thus allowing openness that is not bound to a particular interpretation. Just like a vignette that is descriptive, but free of a narrative as such, I’m interested in constructing an image that does not tell a story as a whole, but confronts the viewer with the scale of the canvas and gives cues through the materiality of paint. In exploring the surface, literal and fictional, I am questioning how it can translate a feeling and create associations, at the same time challenging the process of painting itself.

As a young woman, I am drawn to the question of femininity and how it is understood and represented in our culture today and I find much of the visual inspiration in the contemporary fashion and the enigma that follows it. Looking closely at fashion, which can be reflective of the time, I am particularly interested in how some garments can be ‘shields and mirrors’ to quote Helene Cixous from her ‘Sonia Rykiel in Translation’ essay. Quite often the characters of my work are found wearing men’s or unisex clothes, or the clothes are almost too big, the body is hidden. I wonder, if that makes them any less feminine. Yet, there is a certain self- awareness and calmness about their poses, they are in control of the gaze of the viewer and have a sense of autonomy. It may be that what I try to paint is a space where states of vulnerability and power exist at the same time. Textures, color and materiality of their clothing allow me to investigate that further while being engaged with painting on a formal level. Much of it is about ‘figuring it out’ and trying to make sense of the world, but ultimately, the goal is to create a work that has a life of its own.