I am interested in the tree itself — it is alive, it is a piece of flesh. There is a frozen movement in his growth. When wood is only a material for chairs and cabinets, then it is not the main subject. And if, for example, I swing an ax at it, then it will show itself, the essence will climb out of it, it will be released from the closet, from the nightstand, from the wall
Nestor Engelke is a hereditary architect, a representative of the academic family of artists and art historians. The main material in Engelke's work is wood, using which the artist invented a unique technique of wood painting. The idea of the technique is that Engelke uses an ax to cut a pattern on a wooden surface that reminds of a reverse relief. Engelke calls himself a member of the Society of Free Lumberjacks, and defines his works with the terms proto-painting and proto-sculpture, which speak of the artist's striving for the origins of art. In addition to wood painting Engelke is also actively involved in performative practice, in which he often refers to his memories of Soviet childhood.
Engelke is a co-founder and member of the North-7 group, as part of which he won the Present Continuous-2018 award of the V-A-C fund in conjunction with the M HKA Antwerp museum. Engelke also took part in the parallel program of the European Biennale of Contemporary Art Manifesta-10. His works are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp, the State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg Art Museum, as well as in the largest private collections.