Phenomenology of Perception
Erarta Museum presents an exhibition by Pyotr Nadvodnyuk – a desire to solve the world as a complicated puzzle disguised in the form of grotesque paintings
Pyotr Nadvodnyuk is a mysterious artist. Based on a game of similes, his paintings at times emerge as straightforward visualisations of metaphors, like the picture of the popular ponytail hairstyle as a horse rump resting on a lady’s nape. Both this signature approach and the painting manner wherein all objects are outlined in black and evenly filled in with primary colours allow one to draw analogies between Nadvodnyuk’s art and magazine illustrations or even caricatures. But what drives him to so diligently and persistently turn his witty observations into paintings? Perhaps the urge to do so conceals a somewhat naïve desire to solve this world as a complicated puzzle. The ponytail picture cited as an example involves an already existing analogy, yet even more often the artist tries to find new and original semblances and capture them on canvas. This way of thinking could also be attributed to a poet who finds himself in a state of ceaseless dialogue with the everyday. He is constantly renaming, comparing, and asserting things. A poet wills his own world into being, completely disregarding the fact that everything already existed before him. Although many of the artist’s concepts are based on the formal similarity of appearances, at times it is so cleverly spotted that the poster-like simplicity of Nadvodnyuk’s visuals rings like poetic verse. His grotesque characters emphasise the comical side of his creative universe. That said, some openly sensual or even plainly enigmatic images that evade interpretation are also present: the river woman sprawling across the landscape, the foamy lace or the cry of the overripe apple seem to contain a hidden link to a mythological worldview that humans have traded for the blessings of civilization. Pyotr Nadvodnyuk reinstates magic in everyday life by freeing objects from their spells. Just like Hans Christian Andersen, the artist can overhear what tin openers are talking about and knows what grasshoppers are up to amid the tall standing grass.