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Ilya Volykhine

Russian (b. 1967) - lives in new zealand http://www.artofilya.com

Born in Russia - emigrated to NYC, USA in 1990 & exhibited there before moving to Australia in 2000. Lived/worked in Australia for 8 years. Since 2009 I have called New Zealand home. I love the feelings of awkwardness that my paintings project through a mixture of both naive brush work, stylization and awkward situations. I've been recognized for my singular works combining text and figuration, and merging disparate elements of Russian iconography, re-inscribing strange and often obscured meanings into normative narrative structures reminiscent of comic strips and advertising.

Emerging from behind the iron curtain, my paintings and works on paper, capture the underlying forces that dominate and determine the conditions of the human psyche. In my latest works, I continue to expand upon strategies of collage, drawing, and painting that conjure earlier established themes and imagery mined from a myriad of sources including, movies, cult icons, literature, television and my personal history. This broad range of historical references not only foreground my own interest in appropriating past visual and literary styles, but also invokes the schizophrenic and pathological impulses at work in the Russian imagination.

As the use of color has played an increasingly central role in my more recent works, so has the formal concern for surface, space, and technique, resulting in densely populated and fragmentary images that further articulate my refusal to offer a conventional narrative logic. Often at once perversely funny and poetically contemplative, I think my power lies in an ability to occupy multiple positions at once, and ultimately to implicate text and image in a slippery production of meaning.

I have gained some acclaim in Australia whilst participating in several solo and group exhibitions there, namely the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Blake Prize for Religious Art, the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the Mosman Prize and the Walker & Hall Art Award in New Zealand. Most recently, my work was selected for the 2014 New Zealand Painting & Printmaking Award exhibition.

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