Born in 1967 behind the iron curtain, Volykhine spent the duration of his youth at a time when Socialist realism was the predominant aesthetic. His enigmatic compositions however employ a personal iconography of human characters, animals, and hybrids within familiar-looking but imaginary settings. They frequently incorporate references to the creative process, music, and everyday life, but ultimately eschew any fixed meaning.
The artist’s treatment of scale is deliberately arbitrary and non-perspectival, and often seems to allude to different time zones or planes of existence.
This exhibition brings together large and small format paintings in which figures are depicted against backdrops of suburban architecture or imagined interiors. While Volykhine develops each work instinctively without a preconceived idea of the finished result, there is visual coherence to the overall group of paintings on view, both in their similar palettes of strong, complementary colors as well as in recurring subjects.
The multiple storylines that characterize the large-scale works in particular, combined with their striking use of light and emphasis on the human figure and sometimes dreamlike interpretation, leave a lasting impression. Defying any traditional sense of realism while retaining a degree of plausibility, these paintings create their own distinctive stamp on
Volykhine’s work is held in both private and coporate collections worldwide and most recently features in the new QT Hotel Rooftop Bar in Auckland Viaduct, the new EBB Hotel in Dunedin, and in the NZ 2021 Home of the Year.
Media Release 27 May 2022.