VICTOR ALIMPIEV: «THERE, THERE AND THERE»
Nowadays there is a lot of information about your video artworks, and you are talking about your paintings more seldom. That’s why I would like to discuss exactly this subject. The ambiguity of color is the first aspect that draws attention in your painting. How do you achieve it? Some of them remind your films’ color schemes. Is it intentional?
I cannot say it is intentional, but there is resemblance. In general color adjustment works this way: most light parts have cold tone, parts in shadow are warm, most dark is cold again. This creates additional color volume. Volume and roundness are very important in my videos – I need to show models from different sides, like a sculpture. Extremely close and with the feeling of a distance at the same time. Painting imlies color and space adventures too.
What color do you use for glaze in this works?
For example, radically bright red glaze on a very bright green lining. Effect of color pulsation occurs. It seems like a concrete color – here it is, but it’s uneven and changing, beaming with the opposite color. It reminds a pearl in the sunlight. Or a human body. Something you can contemplate for a long time.
Admirer, 2013 (fragment)
125 х 100 cm
Double portrait, 2015 (fragment)
120 х 96 cm
Another example: when a warm-cold effect is created with transparent black glaze. I have discovered for myself a new coloristic power of black – not only does it make darker, but it also changes the temperature very precisely. This blue is not touched with black – it is just a little colder. It creates an effect of thermal shining. Something like breeze, blowing towards the neck, or a cold fingers touch.
How did you come to that method of drawing? Were you intending to work with color?
I have come gradually to it, but this principle is realized in the previous works: single event in a carefully prepared space.
Many of your works have star-shaped elements. Why did you choose these forms and not the geometric shapes, for instance?
“Stars” in my paintings are like an act of vandalism: beautiful space is desecrated. Or kissed – what is more sufficient, it’s irreversible. It has something… Scandalous. Like an evidence.
Leningradskaya, 2014 (fragment)
125 х 100 cm
Does the result differ from the form you imagined before?
Painting like choreography is a thing that gives you more than you expected, if you handle it right. Things that you imagined in advance is paler and more emotionally simple. Last moment unexpected growth of quality happens, a surprise you can rely on. Accomplished work is like a fiancée, arrives in all its glory.
125 х 100 cm
Your works wonderfully affect space, they are somehow change it.
Yes, I’ve thought of it. Consider this diptych series Sprache Spricht. See, two tall canvas are stretching space separating them. Like a sail. It’s not an empty wall anymore, it’s a strict and tense pause framed with two events just like exclamations. Strictness of two exclamation points or a warning. In fact, nothing happens yet, but we feel that now we will be told what’s going on or what is about to happen. These paintings are almost interacting with each other, send messages each other. And strangely the bigger the distance between them, the clearer the signal.
Sprache Spricht, 2015
280 х 40 cm, 280 х 40 cm
Another space effect relates to colorism: that color mixture looks like it’s situated in front of the picture (and not behind it like a window frame) and forms color space between canvas and us.
How do you name your works?
Well, this series is called “Leningradskaya”. These paintings have two types: female faces looking up and constellations of “stars”, that mark those “lovely features”. There, there and there. Iconography of pose and mimics is present even though figurative is indistinguishable to the scale of abstract. Everything depicted is portrait: both the “star” paintings and their figurative analogs. Both describe the same thing, but in diverse ways, like a photograph and a cardiogram.
Admirer, 2013 100 х 55 cm
Is it difficult for you to leave your works? After all, so much time and effort was invested in them, it’s something like a child.
To be honest, it is difficult. And they are difficult to photograph, my paintings are not very photogenic. But it’s a long-term issue.