Vladimir Yershikhin is an artist known since the time of the New Ukrainian Wave. The exhibition has a “light” name and drawing style. Its lightness is even a bit provocative. Actually, it shows a professional work, which will remind many of the “art-brut”, “tashisme”, so important for the western contemporary art “informel”, and connoisseurs of the postmodern New Wave will joyfully recognize its powerful breath of irony. And all of them are partially right at the same time.
Behind external playfulness and irony, the artist hid the acute social criticism. He sarcastically compares the primitivism of a today’s common person’s habits with the primitive life of ancient prehistoric humanity. The same mass scale, primitivism, tendency to worship certain things embodying strength, fashion, glamor. For the primitive man, those were totems, while for modern people they are gadgets, or a certain style of life and recreation. For instance, the images of such well-known brands of our time, dreamt about by the majority, as “Vertu”, “Ferrari” and “Porsche” look like totemic images in the artist’s canvases.
The author ridicules gadget- and brand-addiction, mass consciousness – all these new but long-known diseases of humanity: parochialism and philistinism. However, mankind lives, parochialism is spreading, philistinism blossoms, and postmodernists find, after neo-avant-gardists, more and more unsurpassed ideas and forms of sarcastic ridicule for the sake of self-awareness of themselves and society, which can’t stop amusing viewers.
The series “Recreation and Entertainment” is a part of the big project I have been working on recently. The project is devoted to the values of the “consumer society” and speaks about subjects and “rituals” of modern life.
“The title of the series is taken from the headings of magazines and the Internet searches. There are no such things as book reading or friendly conversations, sunset admiration or walks under the moon – all types of “recreation” presented in the pictures are quite material and available for a fee. The irony and socio-critical subtext concerning consumerism of the society are the main semantic trends in this series.”