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Exhibition Blog

Ilya Volykhine

GRASS GROWS ON MY TONGUE

New Painting Exhibition by Ilya Volykhine at Kina

11 March - 5 April 2016

Ilya Volykhine is set for his second solo exhibition at Kina NZ Design Space in New Plymouth. Ilya's paintings are darkly comic, the characters within his pictures battling their way through the anxieties and joy of life, his narratives loose, playful and chaotic.

What lies at the heart of these paintings is Volykhine’s intuitive process, his willingness and confidence to allow the story to unfold as he paints, his expressive brushwork opening up a space for his characters to breathe, to take on a life yet unexplored. This confidence in allowing the picture to speak for itself gives him time to understand his subject matter, invest each painting with emotion as each character confronts the vagaries of life and reflects his own view of the world. One that is both incisive, humorous and poignant.

It’s the work of a man who has experienced much over his life. He left Russia for New York in his early 20s before moving onto Australia 10 years later and finally New Zealand where he now calls home. This constant moving, this ongoing migration and learned assimilation, informs his work, each picture a collation of experiences and acute observations. A wry look on a world that is too often closed off.

Not formally trained in the arts, Volykhine had developed his own comic aesthetic, a stylized language that is both literate and poetic, a comic farce which remains rootless and fluid, an ever evolving style that is not confined to historical convention. Here’s what he has to say about his own work:

'I paint from my memory and imagination, everyday images of people in a whimsical world of farce. The work is generally based around exploring domestic interior/exterior spaces and how the figure moves, sits and interacts within these places. I love the feelings of awkwardness that my paintings project through the mixture of both naive brush work, stylization and strange situations.'

This year has certainly started off well for Volykhine; he has been selected as one of 59 finalists in this years Adam Portraiture Award at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington. He has been selected for a 3 month Artist's Residency Program in Tartu, Estonia from August to October and has also been invited to participate in IMAGO MUNDI, Luciano Benetton's world art project combining 80 countries and numerous artists in an exhibition that will travel the world and culminate with a book featuring the entire collection.

Grass Grows On My Tongue opens at Kina NZ Design Space on 11 March and will run through to 5 April 2016. 

To view artworks from Ilya's exhibition click here

For further information about Ilya Volykhine or his work, please email sales@kina.co.nz or phone 06 759 1201.