By Victor Mikhailov
Both Alexander Slepov and Sergey Pyzhikov are enjoying personal exhibitions at Minsk’s Palace of Arts, dedicated to their 60th birthdays. Each boasts huge creative experience, borne from years of research, experimentation and self-discovery as artists. However, the two exhibitions have very different faces, distinguished in style and colour and, importantly, their way of thinking.
Sergey Pyzhikov was born in the Minsk Region. Although he graduated from the Design Department of the Belarusian Theatre and Arts Institute, he later studied painting and drawing. He now perceives himself not so much as a designer but as an artist. His works are immediately impressive in their emotional intensity, showing that he is passionate about drawing the sky. According to Sergey, his quiet childhood living in a village often saw him sitting on the roof admiring the night sky and stars… inspiring his awe and fascination. “Pictures are born from our minds,” he asserts. “Such thoughts are not featureless, being borne from impressions, reflecting current events in the world: earthquakes, the tsunami in Japan… all are sensed and, later, reflected on canvas or cardboard.”
The deep thought processes behind his works certainly attract attention. People stand for quite some time gazing at them, embraced by these paintings so full of colour. It is his palette which enables him to realise his intentions. Allegory and symbolism are his tools, used to explore the theme of space, the Universe, the Earth and our human attitudes to these elements.
Alexander Slepov worked as a decorator for some time, having graduated from the Arts and Graphic Department of the Vitebsk Pedagogical Institute. For thirty years, he has been a member of the Belarusian Union of Artists and has long specialised in decorative and monumental art. His sculptures and decorative wood carving panels are exquisite examples of using wood’s texture and flexibility. He has also designed installations but graphic art plays a major role in his creativity. There, he uses colour and stylised sculptural solutions, differentiating within his theme in subtle ways.
Over the last decade, Mr. Slepov’s creative range has significantly expanded, adding painting to his repertoire of sculpture and graphic art. He is continually developing the idea of figurative, geometric symbolism, as began by the Suprematists, inspired by the work of other painters and sculptors. His stylistic approach is rich in its diversity, while encompassing Realism, the vivid boldness of Cubism, Suprematism and Surrealism. His themes range from mythology to social relations.
Each artist is quite different yet united in spirit and in their fascination with their surroundings. They each aim to reflect their thoughts via the most expressive medium: art. Their shared ambition is obvious. Their diversity, power and originality are striking.