Victor Alshevsky’s own perception of modern mythology

Creative project by famous Belarusian painter, comprising seven canvases dedicated to Minsk, exhibited at National Art Museum

By Victor Kharkov

“The seven pictures are a beginning and a continuation,” notes the artist. “Each has its own theme, encouraging people to muse philosophically.” Mr. Alshevsky shows how ornamental relief and geometric shapes are combined in Belarusian architecture. He notes that these uniquely symbolise our national culture, with recognisable images. “White Rus is pure and special — not due to the absence of history or culture but through its ancient origins. Belarus’ power lies in its revival; Minsk, and the whole country, has risen from the ashes many times — like the mythological Phoenix,” he explains, speaking of the exhibition

Mr. Alshevsky’s White Spot at the Heart of Europe conveys deep philosophical ideas and looks at unusual compositions while exploring history through recognisable architectural symbols in the city of Minsk. These are supplemented by dramatic stories from the lives of our contemporaries.

In my opinion, the essence of this creative and, even, innovative project is that it shows us both art and reality, an understanding of our age and the formation of contemporary mythology. It’s no secret that technology can isolate us, taking us hostage within a virtual world.

In the last century, classical pictorial art was set aside, being replaced by new concepts with mass appeal. Ordinary people became actors and co-authors, with everyday life becoming the latest form of creative self-expression. Art was no longer the exclusive domain of galleries and museums but was found on the streets and in city squares. Traditions were questioned in favour of new discoveries and philosophical musings. Now, those who feel themselves responsible for the future strive to make it richer spiritually.

White Spot at the Heart of Europe comprises several of Victor Alshevsky’s paintings, dedicated to a wonderful city at the centre of Europe — Minsk. He shows the many centuries of history belonging to our Belarusian Land, which is rich in events and cultural traditions. There is no doubt that the country is a unique state on Europe’s map.

“We admire St. Petersburg and Moscow, Paris and London, Rome and Barcelona, alongside other cities big and small, with our eyes open wide. However, on returning from such trips, we can’t but discover anew the unique beauty of our Minsk, covered with white snow, autumn leaves or May greenery,” confides Mr. Alshevsky. “In creating my collection of paintings devoted to our city, I wanted people to learn about it and admire it.”

Mr. Alshevsky has long been inspired by this idea, portraying his reminiscences via various techniques. He explores the aesthetics of the last decades without fear of experimentation, freely transforming images and drawing on human concerns: the trials of fate and the future. He seems to open the curtain to reveal an elusive world, giving us his own personal insight regarding eternal values.

“At present, creativity is impossible outside of the global aesthetic, artistic and philosophical trends,” Mr. Alshevsky emphasises. “The need for greater creative openness is realised through mutual dialogue between cultures.”
We can say with confidence that Mr. Alshevsky has managed to show us a new form of artistic thinking, including generalised images of world culture. His themes generally, and in the current exhibition, cover history and modernity, torn from the soil of simple reality. His art has spiritual significance, exploring his philosophy. However, he chooses a highly decorative path to do so.

He unites on the canvas realistic portrayals of buildings and people, with no abstract speculation. His works comprise symbols and signs, each united by common logic and clear ideas. They are his spiritual message for future generations.
The exhibition at the National Art Museum gives us Mr. Alshevsky’s personal views on his homeland. He uses his experience to diagnose our time and create his own contemporary mythology.

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