Kyiv . Ya Gallery Art Сenter

Bird's Milk

Oleksandr Korol

30.10.2012 – 19.11.2012

Oleksandr Korol

The background of the project, mystified through the title, is the author's attempt to reach consensus with the unconscious.

Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Сenter

Curated by Pavlo Gudimov

Some excerpts were written with automatic writing... My fingers were running over the keyboard on their own, and only later I read the text to find out what I'd written.

Bernard Werber about his book “The Thanatonauts"

Around the same time two inventions emerged in two almost neighboring European countries: André Breton's automatic writing (France) and “E. Wedel" confectionary's new candy (Poland). There wouldn't be any connection between these two historical events if not for Oleksandr Korol's project Bird's Milk appearing a century later.

Tired of their own automatism theory's messy fruit, surrealists concluded on the need to streamline it to an artistic technique. In an attempt of “free drawing" Oleksandr Korol departs from the primitive chaotic and with invention of his own artistic handwriting organizes the anarchic banquet of his imagination, acquired during his lengthy teaching in a children's art school.

The background of the project, mystified through the title, is the author's attempt to reach consensus with the unconscious. Having invented a recipe for a new candy “Bird's Milk" in 1936, the Polish confectioners decided to christen it with the ancient Greeks' paradoxical expression. In the ancient times the “bird's milk" that doesn't exist in nature meant an incredible thing that is the limit of all desires – a thing that is almost impossible to obtain.

As a result of a free artist's experiment with paint the Other World emerges, where the ancient and the new times' mythical creatures coexist quite peacefully. Having lost all her romantic appeal and even clothing and skin, Shakespeare's Ophelia is crying for help quite like a character from American comics. But Batman, dismantled and pinned to a wall, isn't likely to save the beauty. The laws of life and death are strict: Ophelia must turn into ice, and Lilies-of-the-valley must grow through human bodies. From the chaos of zoomorphic images emerge compositions of old (Living Water) and modern (Turistas) fairy-tales, there human exist only to merge with the nature and are almost impossible to distinguish from the creatures that prey on them – Chupacabra and space aliens.

Becoming more and more primitive, toothed monsters (Aeronauts) fail to scare, which makes a grown-up that just dove into childhood, return to the rational everyday. The artist takes on a role of a charlatan, because instead of the promised full-blooded childhood horrors, it is only their outer shells that end up on the spectator's plate – illusive phantoms of dreams that are quick to dissolve in the morning. It seems that Oleksandr Korol's art therapy in Ya Gallery art center is successful this time as well.

Olena Yegorushkina


Oleksandr Korol was born in 1974, lives and works in Dnipropetrovsk.

In 1995 he graduated from Yevgeny Vuchetich State Art School, and in 2004 - from Ukrainian Academy of Printing in Lviv.

"With the exception of single cases when Oleksandr Korol lets himself dive into the pure abstraction, his works are populated by various creatures: from easily recognizable, but childishly, primitively stylized, to touching, unprotected, extraterrestrial (in meditative graphical or collage sheets of paper) and finally - fantasy, unreal, malformed and even horrifying. The painter may create a cozy circle marked with a theme of childhood and unexpectedly, like a child that tries to overstep the limits of permitted, - runs into the uncontrolled adult world with its fears and dangers. But there are more game and interest in this process: things transmitted from life into the plane surface stop scaring you."