Let me take you down to the strange and enticing world of Igor Skaletsky where nothing is really quite what it seems and his art is presented like a dazzling fashion spread for a high end glossy magazine. Skaletsky brings high art and popular culture together but not quite as obviously as it may seem, His work is like the Dutch Golden Age of Painting meets Comme des Garcons in a comic book frame painted by a Surrealist on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. Add in a pinch of Greek myths, some literary metaphors, and a handful of Pop Art aesthetics and you’ll have an idea how he creates his subversive narratives that seem at once oddly familiar but are uniquely his own.
Born in Moscow in 1978, Skaletsky graduated in painting from the city’s Surikov Art Institute. His early portfolio was a mix of collage, new media, and exquisite and technically brilliant painting. He first exhibited in group shows at the Moscow Modern Art Museum around 2006, before having his first solo show at the Mel Space, Moscow, in 2009. Since then, he has relocated to Israel and now divides his time working and exhibiting in Tel-Aviv, Moscow, and Berlin.
On his use of collage in his work, Skaletsky has said:
Collage for me is a technique that widens possibilities to express myself. I think photography and painting perfectly complement each other and combining them, one can achieve an effect which is impossible in pure traditional technique.
Collage is unique in its ability to organically combine things which, at first glance, are absolutely incompatible and do not represent any artistic value in themselves. I like the moment when isolated pieces of paper suddenly start playing with each other when I put them in the common living space of collage.
Collage opens up what is possible. The juxtaposition of recognizable objects and figures in unfamiliar situations and landscapes—or what has been described as Skaletsky “juggling toys”—are intended to encourage the viewer to live “through [the] images as if through the shock of [the] unexpected discovery of a familiar story.” Skaletsky’s paintings and collages are like (poetic) fables for a digital age where hieroglyphs have replaced text and complex narratives are embedded in a seemingly subjective form.
See more of Skaletsky’s work and maybe buy a painting or a print here.
More from the surreal world of Igor Skaletsky, after the jump…