Monday, December 14, 2009

Interview: Vitaly Medvedovsky on Painting the Unreal

Vitaly Medvedovsky is a young, currently Montreal-based artist who won this year's $25,000 Joseph Plaskett Award, a travel-funds prize for promising painters. Last week, I got to chat with him on the phone about his latest body of work, which melds memories of the USSR, where Medvedovsky grew up, with more fantastical representations around national myths. Today the National Post published the interview. Here's an excerpt:

Q You seem to really enjoy making surreal landscapes. Where do these come from?

A They originate in personal memory but also expand on that. I was born in the U.S.S.R., and I often think of myself as a person who comes from a country that doesn't exist. In my paintings, I seek to superimpose something on that blank spot in my biography by combining real and mythological elements.

Q How else did growing up in the U.S.S.R. influence your art?

A It's not necessarily real events that attract me, but more the visual things. When I originally started these paintings, I was inspired by socialist propaganda posters. My first paintings were parodies of those -- I would use family and friends as substitutes for political figures in poster-type compositions.

But it was really an eye-opener for me when I realized that I'm not trying to recreate a specific memory. Instead, I'm trying to reconstruct a fantastical world that's supposedly based on things I remember, but that's also completely made up. The mythological and surreal elements help make that more obvious.

You can read the rest--including Medvedovsky's allusions to the space race--on page B14 of today's Post.

Image of Medvedovsky's I Went Deeper Into the Forest from Galerie Push

1 comment:

shawnster said...

I'm just being introduced to Vitaly's work for for a press release I'm writing about an upcoming Vancouver exhibition. Thanks for posting.