The Kaminkers. Sculptures for cities, villages and forests
The Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present a show by two bright St. Petersburg sculptors — Dmitry Kaminker and his son Daniil Kaminker
Dynasty of artists who draw inspiration from nature
Variety of subjects and techniques
Total installation where the general statement does not negate a private one
They live and work in the “Artist’s Village”, founded by Dmitry 30 years ago in Shuvalovo, a suburb of St. Petersburg.
Most of the works selected for the show were born there, in the peaceful silence between a lake and a forest. The main materials are wood, stone, bronze, cardboard, paper and wax.
Dmitry Kaminker believes that an artist is not a showman, entertaining the public, but a shaman, who communicates with the spirits of ancestors and nature, and conveys their strength and values. This mystical component of the Kaminkers’ art comes along with the social aspects. As a result, the works by the father and the son receive not only plastic, but also mental expressiveness, and amaze the viewer with deep and paradoxical ideas, and laconic language.
The exhibition, which is a kind of visual philosophy, features Dmitry Kaminker’s works of different years and different techniques. Their thematic range extends from biblical subjects (“The Prodigal Son”, “Jacob Wrestling with the Angel”) to the absurd events of the XX century and the present days history.
The sizes of the works vary as well: from large-scale pieces to rather small ones. The small works are not intricate and self-sufficient sculptures, but the ideas for prospective urban sculptures — “minimonumentalism” as the author prefers to call them. Some of the projects have already been implemented in St. Petersburg, for example, “Oarsman”, “Blind Man”, “Organizer”. The monumental “Aviator” became the hallmark of Pulkovo Airport.
Daniil Kaminker has his own topics and mythology connected to nature: northern forests, swamps, roughly hewn timber. There are no obvious images of people in his works, but it is understood that “Compasses in the Swamp”, “Boot Stuck in the Quagmire” or “Ax” implicate the hidden presence of people.
“When a person enters a real forest he replaces compasses with overshoes. He has to plunge step and still gets bogged in the quagmire, — explains the artist's the absence of people. — A tree that was used for a sculpture, continues to live its life — it rots, cracks or on the contrary, sinks to the swamp bottom and get stained, freezes and petrifies”.
The dense, strange, gloomy and insecure world of Kaminker is inhabited not by people but by “Wolf-dog”, “Boar”, huge wooden “Lizard” and “Mosquito”. There you one also find a pickled cucumber made of a whole oak log.
These works are no longer crafts from the series “nature and fantasy”. Perhaps these are images of the unconscious, metaphors of the unknown and threats of the future, a philosophical reflection on the transience of life and the eternity of nature.
The show by Dmitry and Daniil Kaminker at Erarta Museum is designed as an installation, where large objects are combined with “minimonumentalism”, and the general statement does not negate the self-sufficiency of each work.