– JAHRGÄNGE 2014 –


Anatoli Gankévitch
Gagarin (With God!) (2011)

The expression «With God!» have long lost its religious connotation in the common Russian language. It is a simple wish of good luck. Making a skillful use of traditional iconographic techniques and juggling with meanings of the words of his mother tongue to reconstruct broken semantic links, Anatoly Gankevich realized the portrait of the first cosmonaut. Gankevich’s Gagarin is an icon, a saint. The halo around his head, his gesture of blessing, and the geometrical shapes of his clothes are all symbols peculiar to the pictorial language of religious paintings. The Gagarin of Gankevich is the first man who has conquered space, a legend for an entire generation, a kind of religious fetish, and a mythological hero.

This Soviet icon takes us back to the artistic aestheticism of the thirties of the last century. Imitation of mosaic, Deyneka’s grandiloquence, and happy and smiling faces – Gankevich’s style echoes the mosaics of the Moscow metro, the great utopian monuments of the USSR’s National Economy Exposition, and the Soviet posters. By playing with styles and time, the painter has broadened the limitations imposed by the subject and created his own artistic world filled with colors.

Anatoly Gankevich was born in Odessa in 1965. He attended classes at the National Center for Modern Art in Moscow and took private painting lessons. He started as a painter in 1990. He lives and works in Odessa and Moscow.

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