Dnipropetrovsk. Ya Gallery Art Center
18.01.2017 – 25.02.2017
The artist Dmytro Moldovanov is neo-primitivist. In his recent picturesque series, he gets deeper into the imaginary and illusory world populated with weird creatures in contrast with his early satirical-grotesque works with specific characters lost in the urbanistic outskirts.
In his new monumental project Herodotus' Forest, the artist keeps reflecting on the ambivalent world, on the animal and the human. Being permanent characters in his paintings, animals turn into supernatural creatures. They are wandering about or flying between the darkness of the forest and a dazzling sand bank. There are fantastic compound lions and deer with human legs; tigers with wings of insects; a giraffe-snake, stars, birds and insects with human heads; a nude shaggy rose-coloured man with a head of a deer. It is not a mere coincidence that they all find themselves in an extraordinary environment, for Herodotus' forest had such inhabitants as the Amazons, centaurs, dog-headed beasts and other fantastic creatures. This very area was described by Herodotus who once visited these ancient Ukrainian lands. It is worth noting that in reality, it is the Kinburn Foreland dividing the Black Sea and the Dnipro-Buh estuary. The Hellenes considered it to be the end of the Oecumene, the end of the land. (Let us recall, it is the center of Mykolaiv Region, and Dmytro Moldovanov was born there).
“At the end" everything becomes dual and transformed: timelines get intercrossed, animal souls turn into human ones and vice versa. The artist sticks to his creative concept, namely the deconstruction of a myth as a holistic and magic center of the Eden and a myth as a mysterious and horrifying fairy tale full of fight and confrontation. The author's world recreated by means of pictural naivety is illogical, deprived of idyll, torn apart as if it is a patchwork, occupied with lonely “heroes" who got stuck in time anticipating their meeting with the unknown: large mulberries hanging down from antlers and enormous trees with exposed roots; an old man wading through a marshland with his past behind him; a woman holding former herself upon her knees; a toy factory with some smoke from the chimney getting to the end of the lake and into the grass where charmed deer are walking with bare human feet...
An enigmatic but vivid and tempting pictural space of Herodotus' Forest with its extreme creatures, half-animals, half-humans, becomes a spacious symbol of transition and transformation for the author, time-and-space shifts, stratification of the past with the future. All this materializes the author's aspiration to look into the other world, behind the perceptible.