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URBAN REFLECTIONS

​    Erarta Galleries New York is pleased to present an exhibition by artist Elena Chestnykh. The artist will be showing nine large paintings in her New York debut.  Ambiguously urban and attuned to modern culture, this dream-like series is a colorful addition to Erarta’s growing list of contemporary Russian artists.

   Chestnykh grew up in Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia. Her paintings are
windows into vague cities crowded with consumerism, her canvases framed with images of stores and advertising signs. The artist says this deliberate placement is a response to
modern culture’s fascination with advertising, fashion and the internet, three aspects that
influence her work. The bright hues are evident as such, releasing vibrant waves associated with HD television screens and laptops. The overbearing technological presence in today’s modern world is joyously portrayed in a chaotic fashion and ironic manner. Chestnykh describes that she wishes to deter from the pictorial Russian tradition and focus more on a new perspective for Russian painting. The artist says, “I depict (my paintings) as the modern city in general, as a scene where life unfolds”. The central point to her works is the idea that a city is imperceptibly organic and natural in its own right. As absurd as the shapes and objects appear, there is a biological rhythm to the madness.


   Pop art in Russia is rare due to a lack of a pop-art movement. Historians attribute this hole in Russian art history to the propaganda that the Soviet government used as art.
Propaganda in Russia is said to have usurped the possibility of a pop-art movement
because those artists who painted in this style were immediately recognized and hired as
propaganda artists. Born shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chestnykh has
found an opportunity to revive a movement that otherwise never could have been. This is
pop art for 2013, colorful but with atmospheric depth, as opposed to the 1-dimensional
plane characteristic of pop art started in the West in the 1950’s.

Gina Nanni

www.erartagalleries.com

 

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