Krasnodar artist Pavel Babenko has been proclaimed as the ‘Russian King of Still Life’, which is what spurred Erarta to collaborate with him on this new exhibition. This particular alliance has allowed for the coring of boundaries that were unthought-of of before, manifesting in a presentation titled ‘The Exodus from Still life’. Here, Babenko develops the themes of war and apocalypse, whilst simultaneously managing not to lose his infamous sense of artistic humor.
Babenko himself can be considered as being a recent phenomenon on the Russia art scene, which is resultant of his emerging prominence in southern Russia. Despite external influence, Babenko has been incurious as to the dominant artistic schools of thought throughout the period of his completion of the exhibition. In this way, his artistic projects can be considered as above and beyond any regional or traditional criteria. As a consequence of this, and as Babenko freely admits, his compositions allow his true personally show thorough, unyielding, unformatted and not wishing to submit any censorship.
Setting out to become the dominant artist within the genre of still life, Babenko spent the majority of his efforts trying to perfect it. His easily recognizable, expressive monumental still lifes are full of emotional overtones which have become hallmark of the "Russian soul". Concurrently, they have aided the artist in becoming a means of his personal expression of existential and social notions. The most recent work which was produced by the artist indicates that eventually, Babenko grew tired of the more commonly accepted artistic language and instead has chosen to pursue still lifes to the extent in which they let him.
The exhibition itself, is a series of canvases, which give full freedom to the member of audience’s imagination. Within the works, the meals have ended, the original action of the artwork has shifted elsewhere, and this substantiates the world as deteriorating. Hence, the essential function behind each canvas, which is what gave rise to the purpose of the piece in the first place, has seized to exist, stimulating an artificial apocalypse. Babenko further develops this theme of cataclysm without depriving the view of his fundamental sense of humor, which accompanies even the darkest scenes.