Moscow City Government
Moscow City Department of Culture
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
The other life
Painting, graphics, video 1989 - 2009
Date: May 14 – June 14 2009
Venue: Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 17 Ermolaevsky Lane
Opening: May 13 at 7 pm (strictly upon invitation)
Moscow Museum of Modern Art hosts a solo exhibition by Kostantin Batynkov aiming to show the versatile art of this famous contemporary artist in all its diversity. The exhibition will feature works from 1989 – 2009 executed in various media. The viewers will have chance to see works from “The Other Life”, “About War”, “Running on Waves”, “Woods”, “Horses”, “Moscow”, “Children”, and other series.
The art of Konstantin Batynkov is rather simple, comprehensible, and abundant, yet when he wants to, he can also make it very delicate and extremely diverse. Batynkov is a vehement and prolific artist, and his fantastic exuberance is motivated solely by his inner motives.
He usually makes up to half a hundred works for a show. It is normal for him. The medium is unimportant; it can be graphics, photography, or painting. The choice of a medium is only a question of the surface, of the mechanism. The real intrigue is in something else. He does not face the dilemma between the subject and the medium. His artistic talent is realized in a far more essential category – he finds himself within the territory of art or outside it, he can be thrilled by form or totally indifferent to it, he can be totally consumed by his subject, or simply involved in the act of unmotivated creation.
Batynkov is his own curator, he is interested in the process itself, in the dialogue, which calls for opponents, for an antithesis. But his hypothetical opponents remain hypothetical; the division between “friend” and “foe” is unclear, and basically irrelevant. Batynkov is both within and outside the situation, he is the programmer and the user at the same time.
Batynkov is absolutely contemporary, but he is uninspired by present day life, and so he comes up with “The Other Life” – the embodiment of his anxiety and an attempt to put everything back in order. The artist takes up “good old” painting, when art was “hand-made”, original, somewhat coarse, but very convincing, bold, and pastose. He paints some ageographic utopia, which is based on real life utopia directly experienced or observed from a different angle, as seen from the territory of “the other life”.
The art of Batynkov is a project devoted to “the other life”. It inspires him and determines the choice of format. There are plenty of plots. This total project features a culture park which is always accessible, yet isolated by the elegantly forged iron fencing. One can swim in fountains, and climb “Buran” spaceship, can bunji jump on one’s suspenders like Tarzan, and still remain unknown. Batynkov does not like putting on a heroic mask. The heroic style of his works is mixed with staffage, the distance between “the sacred and the profane” is virtually non-existent, and “Chanel” and “Shinel”* (*overcoat) come to denote related phenomena.