I was offered to write a text to Kostyrko's exhibition, but I all I could do is a comment.
This comment is based on the perception of history as a philosophy that teaches with the help of examples–it is roughly what Bolinbroke would say. I was inspired by the work entitled Mathis GothardtNithardt. Ruky, takzvanoho, MatthiasaGrunewalda [Mathis GothardtNithardt. Hands of the So Called Matthias Grunewald]. Kostyrko's picture is devoted to the painter whose works carry a made-up name. How come the author whose works are more powerful and expressive than Durer's opuses was forgotten? The reason for a historical misunderstanding was a wrong ascription of the works of this unknown painter by German art critic Joachim von Sandrart. He was the first to talk about Mathis GothardtNithardt's oeuvre and by mistake called him by the name of the painter that never existed, that is Matthias Grunewald.
Nithardt-Grunewald fell into oblivion as an artist while he was still alive. He quit art and left the princes residence to boil soap and sell paints. The failure of the largest peasant revolt in the German history made him do it. At the time, the artist held a high position in society at the court of one of the most powerful figures in Europe–prince Albert from Brandenburg. This feudal lord was a progressive oligarch, the founder of the Frankfurt University and a fan of Durer's talent. After the revolt was suppressed, Nithardt-Grunewald witnessed burnt villages, murder and torture.
He knew that the Catholics united with the Reformers against the rebels–the people of his class... Nithardt-Grunewald decidedly recognized moral qualities over the artist's career and reformed himself. While Durer continued searching for the hidden signs of beauty and playing a reformer's role by heading the hierarchy of the feudal world of art. Dependence on feudal lords meant the loss of freedom to Nithardt-Grunewald—he did not want to remain their property. Having chosen independence, Matthias left the world of art. Albrecht Durer and Nithardt-Grunewald died the same year...
Dialogue between Perfecjkyj and Kostyrko about Hands and the World of Art exhibition
Perfecjkyj: There are more than ten works before me with the word hand in the title. Is it the sequel of the Master's Hand cycle?
Kostyrko: Yes. I continued illustrating stories on the subject of moral relativity in the so called world of art... Creating the atlas of anomie. Or the album of deviations, crimes, suicides among the players on the field of art… It is a classification of suicides. The initial idea was to illustrate it with examples of artists' suicides...
Perfecjkyj: It's hard to interpret. Probably because, according to Bakhtin, a person disappears from life when they are in art...?
Kostyrko: Something like that... Plus there's another reason. It was supposed to be iconographic material, so I had to create images...