Twilight state / Petr Shvetsov
Peter increases tension. He used to depict airplanes, pilots, the aces of the XX century, boxers and the ultimate fighting, the frameworks of Russian ships resting on the muddy bottom of The Tsushima Strait, a wide variety of naked women, Madagascar cockroaches, the stripes of tattooed skin preserved in formaldehyde, a stuffed fox and other animals, and a self-portrait as a naked savage in the cow-parsnip bushes.
In his new project Peter Shvetsov researches the phenomena of the twilight zone by example of being the main character of his creative works, which represent neurotic states of his mind. It’s not a medical history card though.
Material and texture are the key words for understanding this project. The surface of the canvases is a battle field; disemboweled flesh refers to Snyders and Konchalovsky, and in the shuddering texture of meat there’s a similarity with Chaim Soutine, F. Bacon and Anselm Kiefer. The canvas is literally covered with blood and its abundance seems to be excessive. The dead becomes alive owning to the precious substance of paint.
‘I live in a constant fear – says the artist – life passes me by, you have to do something every second’ Activity is our only salvation. ‘We live in the world of death – death makes my blood boil’ (Velimir Khlebnikov). The thick, moving texture makes an effect of a constant excitation and anxiety.
Peter is interested in the anamorphosis of biological creatures; his jelly-fish, dandelions, brains, lungs, a stomach are wonderfully beautiful like some unearthly, cosmic bodies, shining in the night. The mucilaginous state of a substance has a particular appeal for him; he intuitively feels something eerie about it. The dim light coming from inside, gives a certain kind of twinkling and spectrality to his alien creatures. Pavel Florensky once compared Rembrandts’ light with the luminescence of sponks on a stump. This metaphor, perhaps, clarifies Shvetsov’s paintings as well, as if the process of metabolism, characteristic for organic bodies, continues.
In this emotionally oversaturated world there is some place for humor too. The still frame with a chicken, sticking out its head out of a plastic bag, is terrible and funny at the same time. Peter himself is ready to play the clown, he likes masks, and that’s why his paintings are both brightly carnival and macabre.
The exhibition’s central object is the sculpture of a brain. It is a piece of bubblegum increased manyfold – ‘masticatory unconscious’.
For the first time the artist’s creativity is showed in all its insatiable pantophagy, from techniques and materials (painting, drawing, video, sculpture, object, installation) to a multitude of images, crowding in his mind, and everything is saturated with furious energy.