ART 14 Gallery opens the 2019/2020 season with an exhibition of new works by an artist, art critic and a writer Oleksandr Naiden.A bizarre world of images, so emotional, contemplative, serious and at the same time ironic, interlaced in strange proportions, forms a unique, always recognizable authorial style of gouaches by O. Naiden. And just the author’s talent knows how it is possible to combine these seemingly incompatible things within one work. As the author says: “to my mind, real things in memory acquire the qualities of ghosts, and those who have been forgotten – the ones of shadows. The combination of ghosts and shadows are in gouaches shown here. But they are based on what was once a reality. Only God is able to create matter from nothing. “The compositions consist of things that seem to be expressly common such as faces, people, plants, buildings. They are often “wrong”, grotesque. And all those are represented in odd lines, with a distortion of scale, perspective and proportions. However, the sincerity and openness of the naive art style, the ironic playfulness and emotionality that immediately catches the viewer’s eye, is only one of the layers of the work. Looking at it more deeply we can see that there is not just “ordinary” naive. Upon closer look, much more serious and even dramatic meanings are revealed such as reflections on books, our own lives, existence of a man in the universe. No wonder you can find some quotes from the author’s favorite philosophers J. P. Sartre or M. Heidegger.
One might think that we are facing a postmodern pasture of surrealism elements, naive art and intellectualism. However, it is not the postmodern irony or the trans-avant-garde juggling of reminiscences that forms the basis of the author’s creativity although all of that is fully represented here. It is worth mentioning that the author is not just an artist, but a researcher and art critic as well. We should also remember that an important part of Naiden’s work is scientific research devoted to exploring the role of traditional culture in the innovative trends of contemporary art. And names of the works like “Self-Knowledge in August # 2,” or “Elder Flowers. Duchan with us ” is not a playful backstory of postmodernism. The real basis of constructing the author’s bizarre compositions is the cooperation of the artist, writer and scientist.
The sheets of O. Naiden’s works are the planes where the artist, writer, and scientist work together. They prove the existence of that mysterious “unity of the three”, organically combining intelligence and emotion, scholarship and immediacy.