Text: Derya Ocean
Exploring the essence of humanity: art collective’s reflections

Is it possible for us to truly fathom the depths of our human existence? Contemplating this question, we may find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of what it means to be human. In a thought-provoking showcase, we present a curated selection of artworks by local visual artists who have undertaken the formidable task of dissecting humanity, dissecting it into its constituent fragments.

Eyes. Polina Tyan

Polina Tyan, an artist deeply engrossed in the enigma of the human psyche and nature, embarks on a dedicated exploration and artistic portrayal of these intricate subjects. Her canvas becomes a vessel for channeling her fascination, weaving captivating visual narratives that venture into the labyrinth of human emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Nature’s profound beauty and its inherent connection to the human experience further fuel her creative inspiration, prompting her to depict this interplay through her artistic expressions.

Tyan’s compelling artwork delves into the intricate web of human emotions and mental states. The juxtaposition of diverse gazes beckons the viewer to confront their own emotional terrain, inviting them to embrace the allure found within imperfections. Each gaze mirrors the turbulence lurking within the depths of the human psyche – from confusion to resilience and acceptance. An unsettling double pupil, symbolizing the dualities and contradictions encountered within the mind, provokes contemplation. Subtle yet impactful modifications of the eyes evoke a disquieting unease, urging introspection on the intricate tapestry of mental health.

Polina Tyan, “Eyes of the Mind” 

Medium: Mixed media / Digital 
Neck and shoulder. Varvara Zabezhinskaya 

Varvara Zabezhinskaya, the creative mind behind “Melt,” stands as an artist with a unique penchant for translating profound concepts into tangible visual experiences. Her frozen wax sculpture, evocatively reminiscent of a shoulder pad, seems to possess a dual identity—simultaneously serving as protective armor and bearing the weight of time’s relentless march. In this piece, Zabezhinskaya embarks on a deep exploration of the intricate concept of burnout, a theme that often remains shrouded in metaphorical obscurity.

Drawing a poignant parallel between the human experience and the gradual, subtle transformation of candles melting away, she illuminates the hidden facets of our struggles. Much like burnout itself, which often goes unnoticed until it’s too late, the work’s essence lies in its ability to visually articulate fragility. By offering a glimpse into what burnout might resemble if it took on tangible form, Zabezhinskaya’s “Melt” challenges us to confront the vulnerability that exists within us all.

Varvara Zabezhinskaya, “Melt” 

Medium: Mixed media

Mixed media

Torso. Anastasia Kalinovskaya

“In Memory” by Anastasia Kalinovskaya Anastasia Kalinovskaya is a multi-talented artist, engaging in poetry, acting, directing, painting, and photography simultaneously. Her expressionistic oil paintings are both bold and deeply moving. “In Memory” portrays a white, naked torso of a woman, her head bowed, her hands directed towards the viewer instead of her eyes.

Emerging from the shadows, she appears as either an angelic figure or a frozen statue. Kalinovskaya’s work carries a profound message: a reminder of the constant confrontation and struggle inherent in life. It calls on us to shed our masks and the threads that bind us, urging us to be strong, honest, and authentic. Her art celebrates the love and respect for nature, promoting creation over destruction.

Anastasia Kalinovskaya, “In Memory”

Medium: Canvas, 100x120cm, acrylic paint, tempera paint, lacquer

Genitals. Ekaterina Rumiantseva

Ekaterina Rumiantseva is a fearless artist who confronts societal taboos head-on, as evidenced by her watercolor series, “Scream.” In an art world historically comfortable with phallic symbols, Rumiantseva takes a bold step forward, addressing the conspicuous absence of female genitalia in artistic representations. Her work serves as a resounding protest against this silence.

With “Scream,” Rumiantseva plunges into a captivating exploration of female sexuality, a theme she regards as one of the most vital for contemporary artists to engage with. Her painted vaginas appear to scream, symbolizing their imprisonment within the narrow confines of patriarchal norms. Through this provocative work, Rumiantseva challenges the status quo, demanding recognition and celebration of the female form, long relegated to the shadows.

Ekaterina Rumiantseva, “Scream”

Medium: Acrylic on paper

Head. Aleksandr Predko

Aleksandr Predko is a versatile artist whose video art ventures deep into the vast spectrum of human experiences. He firmly believes that even the most vivid emotions have their origins in the relentless battle against depression and longing. In “Grief,” Predko offers viewers a glimpse into the tumultuous landscape of a woman’s mind as she grapples with the profound and universal emotion of grief.

Through distortion and manipulation of imagery, Predko reflects the way overwhelming emotions can warp our perception of reality. The piece serves as a visual metaphor for the profound impact of grief on the human psyche, inviting viewers to empathize with the emotional turbulence experienced by those who confront loss.

Aleksandr Predko, “Grief”

Medium: Digital video

Hand. Vladimir Zakharov

Vladimir Zakharov’s photography encapsulates the power of simplicity and the emotions it can evoke. In his poignant photograph featuring a hand set against the backdrop of a staircase, Zakharov masterfully captures the essence of untold stories and concealed emotions.

The image’s stark simplicity beckons viewers to contemplate the profound narratives that lie beneath the surface. Zakharov’s work reminds us that within the seemingly ordinary moments of life, there exists a rich tapestry of unspoken tales and emotions waiting to be explored. Through his lens, he invites us to pause and reflect on the subtle, yet profoundly human, elements that often go unnoticed in the rush of our daily lives.

In this diverse collection of artists, we encounter individuals who courageously tackle complex themes and invite us to view the world through their unique lenses. Their works not only challenge societal norms but also compel us to delve deeper into the intricate facets of the human experience. Each artist’s exploration leaves an indelible mark, sparking introspection and conversation in the ever-evolving world of contemporary art.

Vladimir Zakharov, “Best wishes”

Medium: Digital photography