1/12/2009

Vania Zouravliov – et memento mori



Born in Vladimir, a medieval city in Russia, Vania Zouravliov creates richly layered illustrations which are brillant, dark fairytale works. It takes you a long time to look at them and try to understand what you see, but the pictures also seem to show the disturbing, disconcerting and lonely world (...of childrens nightmares).
These illustrations are not just there. They are continuously evolving and creating emotions. Some things you start to like and adore and then you dislike it, because you see that it leads to destruction of it. And that is the reason such mixed feelings are even more attracting you to his work.
Zouravliov's influences were in former interpretations described as symbols from The Bible, Dante's Devine Comedy, russian fairytales, early Disney animations, japanese Mangas, aboriginal north-american crafts and E.T.A. Hoffmann.
In general, his work combines modern elements with historic references and a blend from eastern and western cultures to create scenes which look like something from a lost myth.
His mother was an art teacher and he started drawing “evil” hammerhead people, when he was just four years old. At the age of 13 he became a child prodigy in Russia, he had TV-Shows, got introduced to many famous communist artists and was already exhibting internationally.
Later he studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and still lives and works in the UK.
In my opinion, his work is still a bit too much organ of and skull orientated. And so I am really looking forward, how and if Zouravliov will start exploring the “grown-up” world and the fear it can create of if he will be forever the four year old, who draws evil people who are making him fear... What gives me hope? This quotion from Zouravliov by himself:

Holding back the night
With its increasing brilliance
The summer moon

show us the moon...




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