Interesting discoveries from Parallel World come to the fore

Sergey Rimashevsky’s exhibition summarises research results of past decade

By Victor Mikhailov

Through traditional oil painting, the artist discloses his inner, parallel world, using the image of a child. This mirrors Mr. Rimashevsky’s soul and transports audiences into the sacred world of human feelings and thoughts, where children and adults find solace in one another. This world has a rich colour palette, with emotions from childhood, deeply hidden in our conscious, coming to the fore. His composition brings purification…

Mr. Rimashevsky’s career path has been traditional, commencing at Minsk’s College of Art. He later graduated from the local Arts Academy and, in the early 1990s, spent three years working on church frescoes in Poland, which he enjoyed immensely. His diploma is in monumental painting but he most loves pictorial art, which he believes holds wider possibilities for artistic experimentation.

His Parallel World is based primarily on impressions from his childhood. Mr. Rimashevsky’s works depict children and the spirit of childhood; they are the poetic core of his artistry. His soul observes the surrounding world with childish awe, accepting everything as a mystery while keeping secrets within itself. He investigates the world from a child’s point of view, driven by his own memories — vividly bright and untarnished, with reality and imagination intermixed. Recollected images take second place to feelings; the emotions aroused dominate over events, which are sometimes transformed by childish imagination into fairy-tale dream symbols, full of hidden meaning.

As Mr. Rimashevsky asserts in his works, anything can inspire such fantasies: faces, landscapes, toys, household items, wallpaper images, paintings, films and folklore characters, real events or mythical plots. Children do not rank impressions according to their reasonableness; all things which arouse deep emotions are of equal value while single details can be as significant as the whole Universe, boasting a magical force. With this in mind, the cockade on Napoleon’s hat could become a raven’s eye, while the hat itself could transform into a raven. The child then sees not Napoleon, but a man-bird — with the sly face of a storyteller. The metamorphosis taints the child’s view of the historical figure, overriding other attributes, as we see in Solar Eclipse.

The physical attributes of objects — their dimensions, size, distance and length — are turned on their heads in his Parallel World. That which is large might seem small and funny while majestic objects may become toy-like. Dead things come alive and that which is far becomes close. Similarly, a child may transform into an old man, an angel, a snowman, a king or a wooden man.

Even the most simple of Mr. Rimashevsky’s pictures — Lunar Eclipse — features transformations: a man with a childish face carries a fish on a garden fork, which resembles Neptune’s trident. Meanwhile, a small Parthenon stands on a hill. The fish is as large as the man, its eyes bulging in disbelief at its own immense size, the trident and the Parthenon.

The artist’s multi-figured compositions are full of the symbols and metaphors which exist between reality and dreams. His Bridge of Time is no mere childish dream, being that of someone who remembers Eden. An arched bridge behind a hill is covered with trees rising to the sky like clouds. The sky and river are equally blue and the lost children — Adam and Eve — sit by the river. The images of an old man in the clouds and a merry old woman are depicted above — perhaps representing God and our motherland, or perhaps just the ordinary grandparents of a village boy. The latter is going to fish and already imagines the faces of his loved ones when they see his catch: a girl-mermaid. He returns home to sleep on a toy fox, while a small angel covers him with its wing.

Lyricism and the ability to feel secrets allow the artist to see beyond the ordinary; in Time Wheel, the sky erases borders between itself and people, filling the air with blue and white seagulls and transparent clouds. In this state of mind, the painter achieves a poetic mood called ‘dreams of extraordinary fragility’ by Edgar Allen Poe.

These dreams do not shade reality; rather, they bring invisible traces to the fore. It seems that the hidden depths of the world — as perceived by Sergey Rimashevsky — become permeable. The major secret of life — the secret of a child’s soul — is close to becoming real.

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