Alexei Politov and Marina Belova

Politov_BelovaHave worked together since 1998, with solo exhibitions at galleries in Berlin (1993), London (1992, 1996) and Moscow. Have participated in numerous group exhibitions in Russia and abroad.

Only the Politov-Belova duo can channel the long-forgotten spontaneity of the marketplace and the carnival through visually powerful, monumental forms. In Les Dames aux Cameos the pair evoke the avant-garde artists who once shocked townsfolk with agitprop trains, banners, monumental sculptures and costumed parades. Plywood cut-outs of ladies’ legs in lace stockings are stylized after pictures in satirical magazines. And their shameless procession through the halls of the AidanGallerycan be likened to the three-dimensional, anti-bourgeois propaganda caricatures of an agitprop train. These contemporary artists appeal strongly to the aesthetics of the most radical avant-garde art of the first years following the Revolution, but they view it through a modern lens. They are not unlike young, trendy film directors reviving black-and-white cartoons. Their latest works, The Last Train and Strength and Grace, are witty plays on the theme of the collision of the fragile world of art with the inert, inexorable energy of life itself. The artist depicted in the three-dimensional piece The Last Train is so engrossed in painting an approaching train that he doesn’t realize he is standing in its path. Strength and Grace depicts an erotic marathon: a graceful ballerina is pursued by a brutal athlete. Today, it is a rare achievement indeed to resuscitate the all-but-discredited notion of visual intrigue.

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