06.03.2020 – 05.04.2020
Triumph Gallery, Moscow
Triumph Gallery presents Anton Kuznetsov's personal exhibition Behind the Wall. Through his works, Anton explores the conflict between artistic realism and factfulness. His works often integrate the ordinary and the surrealistic, and refer not so much to the Soviet propaganda posters but to the artists of the Leipzig school.
His new series is dedicated to privacy. The protagonist of Kuznetsov’s paintings is a neighbor who bears a slight resemblance to a certain retired German dictator. His strange behaviors invite secret surveillance, so it is no longer as clear cut who is stranger in this case: the object of observation or the observer himself.
Anton Kuznetsov: "This story grew out of old photographic chronicles, war memoires, ghosts of the past. The premise is that there’s a strange neighbor resembling someone. Upon a closer look, you realize the neighbor looks like Adolf. In informal photographs, he does not look like a dictator or an evil monster but like an ordinary retiree. It's hard to believe that so much blood is on his hands. This is the starting point for the story: what if Adolf escaped not to Argentina but to the Soviet Union and lives out a life of an ordinary pensioner in in a khrushchevka. I act as a nosy neighbor who collects evidence to support of my suspicions, and commit them to paintings. This investigation is ridden with speculation, and the exhibition is a collection of these assumptions and hypotheses."
But an observer can always be subject to surveillance, too, especially when it comes to neighbors. It is anybody’s guess what kind of person lives next to you; we can only catch glances through the door peephole, listen in on the conversation through the wall. There's a mystery, an anxious concern that drives this interest to the self-similar. Ignorance begets paranoid thoughts. There emerge on the canvases strange alien and sometimes fantastic elements, that may be similar to embryos or extraterrestrials. They are also embedded as bright spots into the run-of-the-mill interior of a typical apartment, and they exist there as an absolutely originality.