Art Gallery AFK

 Costa Dvorezky 

Costa Dvorezky was born in Moscow on July 1968. In 1983 graduated from Moscow Secondary School of Art. In 1987 graduated from the Moscow Art College, 1993 graduated from Moscow Stroganov Academy of Art (master degree). Since 1993 has been a member of the International Art Fund of the Young Artists and Critics.

"Through his paintings Costa goes beyond the obvious to uncover the symbolism within the human aspect of daily life. His creativity and style come alive through his works depicting dark and surreal imagery. As a viewer of Costa’s images, one is transported to a world of fictional proportions that exists in the recesses of the artist’s mind.

 

Metamorphosed human and animal figures shrouded in darkness, suggest the existence of a distorted world-order. These images evoke one to closely examine and question the reality of what one sees. Through his artwork, Costa challenges the observer to not only understand the scope of the actual image, but to also comprehend the feelings that the image provokes. His paintings are as bold as the statements that they make, and it is up to each individual to decipher what the meaning behind the image really is.

 

Costa’s art has achieved international recognition. It has been featured in many private and public exhibits on European and North American stage, and has been sold to many private collection in Europe, the United States and Canada." by Tina Sgouros

R e f l e c t i o n s   o f   t h e   S p i r i t

 

 

"Paint reflects light and colour, and good paintings spark reflection. They engage our sense of wonder, the play between imagination and understanding, pushing us to make sense of relationships between images, between the viewer and the artist or the work, between the work and society, and between ourselves and the past. Costa’s paintings invoke our spirits, and bring us to the realm of reflection without presenting a deadening resolution.

We might first be struck by the grand scale of his paintings and the extraordinary skill of their execution. Large full-length formal portraits are traditionally reserved for distinguished persons of accomplishment and status. Master painters were commissioned to commemorate notables of the Church, aristocracy or politics, but here we find a rare talent portraying the anonymous eroticism of “Urban Girl” or the tawdry prostitution of “In The Window.” The monumental presentation of these humble, mundane figures compels us to wonder what value the artist places on his subjects and what he hopes we will discover.

Some viewers of “Captured,” his first solo exhibit at Engine Gallery, found it unsettling and its portrayal of women offensive. In 1870, there was a similar response to Edouard Manet’s “Respose,” a portrait of a middle class woman lounging in a white dress; many were shocked by his break from convention in allowing the subject to remain anonymous. Then it was enough that she should have no name. By portraying women of questionable character, does Costa wish to reveal to us the shift in our social norms? Does he build her up to tell us how far we have fallen? Or does he wish to draw our attention to forms of beauty too easily dismissed? Is this an intentional response to master works like “Repose,” Theodore Roussel’s “The Reading Girl,” or Ivan Kramskoi’s “An Unknown Lady”? Certainly Urban Girl’s regard of calm, sensual, almost haughty self-assurance is reminiscent of the Kramskoi’s Lady as she passes us in her carriage. The play of reflection has begun.

Having caught our eye, we stop to consider the purposefulness of his work, and measure the commitment of the artist by the mastery of his technique, and we soon find our scrutiny is richly rewarded. With broad confident brushstrokes he is able to capture the subtle variations of sinew, skin tone and light. His technique ranges from tight, clear renderings of a hand or a shoulder to bold, rough handling that seems unfinished and fades into the background. In this juxtaposition of clarity and light with roughness and shadow he not only shows us that while he is able to exercise refined skill he will not be constrained by it. Instead he uses it selectively to pull our attention to one element or another, giving special attention to the hand and belly of “Urban Girl,” the straining, sinewy shoulder and bonds of “Captive 3,” or the horse’s head and girl’s thigh in “Mistress of the Saddle.”

The work is purposeful without a definitive purpose. We sense the harmony and expression of the artist’s spirit, but he does not offer utility, and there lies the beauty. He leaves room for play, and he does so both in form and content.

He eschews formal draughtsmanship of realism and assumes the free-handed approach of the Impressionists, allowing his application of paint to convey feeling. And instead of contextualizing his subjects with background details of a studio, a park, or an apartment, as did the Impressionists, he sets them against the textural thick brushstrokes and gaping holes of canvas characteristic of abstract expressionist paintings. He combines both schools to realize a sense of spontaneity and action and belie the possibility that, in this impersonal mass age of reproductions, this is anything but an original work. This sense play and authenticity is enhanced by the violent slashes of the pallet knife across the still-wet canvas, which further assert the impulsive creativity of the artist.

In his imagery, Costa dispenses with the vocabulary of conventional Western symbolism and invites us to engage our imaginations to find the truth of his subjects – a truth that is made more present through the sensuality of the painting than would be apparent if they were described in words or if we stood in their company. He constructs his own language and through it we are given a means to reflect upon the relationships of the figures.

In “Neighbours”, we find the curious situation of a monkey’s leash zigzagging between the grips of a boy and girl who gesture at one another while staring out at the viewer.

In the diptych “The Rope”, a bald, robed, barefoot priest pulls a rope and draws a battered screen to hide a strong, equally bald, bare-chested ruffian who faces us defiantly in black jeans and boots.

In “Dancing Shoes,” a woman finishes tying the laces of her high heel shoes.

These three paintings allude to Costa’s earlier “Knots” series, where he evokes the vitality and energy of competing forces through his paintings of rope knots tautly binding sheets of canvas.

In “Neighbours” and “The Rope”, he adapts the illusion of vital tension in “Knots” to heighten the complexity of the relationship between people.

There are great forces at work in the clashing natural sensuality of Urban Girl and the cold rationalism of her modernist chair, in the brute force of the captive and restraining knots that bind the captive’s hands (“Captive 3”), and in the proud, powerful nobility of horse’s face and the taming power of the riding crop held by “Mistress of the Saddle.”

Costa is both of the Western tradition and beyond it. He uses the techniques of impressionism and abstract expressionism, and the strong contrast of sharply lit bodies against deep shadows we might attribute to Caravaggio, and yet his work is distinctly contemporary and fresh, building on tradition without being limited by it. Walter Benjamin wrote, “The uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being embedded in the fabric of a tradition.” Costa’s achievement is the manner in which he accepts this truth about art. Instead of appropriating or quoting the works of the Old Master’s and then affixing a contemporary vitality, Costa gives us contemporary vitality with the skill of an Old Master. Quietly, without open referencing, he calls upon tradition then transcends it through his selective application of its elements to his particular experience of the moment.

Captured by the provocative narrative and refined technique, the viewer is summoned into the reflective play of imagination and understanding. In his more recent work beginning with “Jump,” Costa’s sense of play assumes a breathtaking optimism where play itself becomes the subject. With his portrayal of a boy leaping through a kinetic orange-hued space, Costa seems to be announcing his own release, discovering the joy in his own play, and inviting us to participate in yet another experience linking us to the universal." by Robert Meynell

 

EXHIBITIONS

(selection)

 

 

2010 Galerie D’Este, solo show, Montreal, Canada

2009 Bill Lowe Gallery, solo show “Barcode of Life” Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

2009 Engine Gallery, solo show “Tribute to Velazquez”, Toronto, Canada

2008 Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

2008 Toronto International Art Fair with Engine Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2008 Wall Space Gallery, Ottawa, Canada

2008 Engine Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2007 Toronto International Art Fair with Engine Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2007 Engine Gallery, solo show “Jump”, Toronto, Canada

2006 Toronto International Art Fair with Engine Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2006 Engine Gallery, solo show “Captured”, Toronto, Canada

2006 Cadillac Fairview, fundraising Gala, Toronto, Canada

2005 Gallery Babianne, “The Blue “, Toronto, Canada

2005 Brush Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2004 Dennison Gallery,Toronto. Canada

2004 Art Expo, presented by Dennison Gallery, N.Y. U.S.A.

2003 Gallery 2001, Montreal, Canada

2002 Contemporary Art Gallery, solo show, Toronto, Canada

2001 Art Expo, presented Atelier America Inc., N.Y. U.S.A.

1997 Exhibition at Art Manege Moscow, Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow, Russia

1996 Nagornaya Gallery, Moscow, Russia

1995 Central Exhibition Hall, “The Gold Brush of Russia”.Moscow, Russia

1995 Academy of Medical Science, solo show, Moscow, Russia

1994 Central Exhibition Hall, “Show of Four”, Moscow, Russia

1992 “Art of Four”, Basel, Switzerland