Juliet is the Sun
Oil on panel
The paintings Juliet is the Sun and Aristotle’s Containers enter into teasing dialogue with each other as they examine the possibility or impossibility of a construction of metaphor that has a finite framework. In Aristotle’s tidy, logical explication of metaphor, relationships fit into nesting categories, like a Russian nesting doll, or as here, in Ziploc containers. Initially, in setting out to represent these categories visually, I imagined images within images, but I soon became concerned with the materiality of the containers themselves, as well as the idea of containment. A contained metaphor cannot be messy; that is, it cannot bleed into other realms, nor suggest any kind of ellipsis or continuation. It must “lock” into place, be sealed against infectious intrusion. Still, it must be transparent and “plastic,” metaphorically speaking. Each container may be seen within the other, and further containers are invited.
Standing in counterpoint to Aristotle’s Containers, Juliet is the Sun folds in upon itself in representations of representations of representations, and so on. This is not the actual sun, nor the actual Juliet, of course, but an image set apart at a self-reflexive remove of several layers. The sun is a painted, manipulated image of a manipulated photographic representation, and Juliet is a painted Olivia Hussey portraying Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s film version of the play. The images are then manipulated again in tone: the sun is not seen through clouds, filtered for our easy viewing, nor is it a postcard-lovely setting version. The sun depicted here is blinding and distant; were we to look at it directly, it would cause us pain. Olivia Hussey is shown as the impossibly wide-eyed and juvenile thirteen-year-old she was intended to be. The two images stand in opposition: how can the weepy Olivia Hussey possibly be this vast ball of fire? Juliet, and the sun, are shown in superimposition, as one and the same, but they cannot fully become the other. They “trade” properties, but retain their own distinction as discrete entities. Both paintings approach a containment of metaphor from different perspectives: one in which the containment itself is treated as metaphor, and the other in which the metaphors may trade properties but do not, ultimately, transform one another.
Archival pigment print
Glass tile on cement board
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My work explores societies and human patterns in its transient states. My background itself is rooted in change. Born and raised in the USSR, my understanding of rules, social status, and human abilities were redefined when I moved to New York City. I quickly learned to adapt and observe things carefully and move fluidly throughout my surroundings. Due to my personal history, I posses an amalgam of opposing belief systems in which I constantly struggle to find refuge. Perhaps this is why I have thus far traveled to over a dozen countries and lived in several states. From my observations I have witnessed an increasing amount of globalization and homogeneity around the world, and through this I have developed a strong interest in examining patterns of humanity and urban development. I share my observations and convictions through visual art.
The work functions as a meditation on our unacquainted society, focusing on the ever-growing enslavement of the individual within the social structure. That is, I have witnessed the entrapment of the free mind and the overall denial of this engulfing phenomenon. I explore this phenomenon in my work through the aesthetics of globalization, urbanism, and the underlying structures of the architectural form. Aesthetically my work focuses on space, light, and shadow through techniques of line, repetition, contrast, and illusion.