Konstantin Batynkov

batynkov_kBorn in 1959 in Sevastopol. From 1978 participated in exhibitions in Russia and abroad. From 1983 a member of the Union of Artists of Russia. From 1985 participated in the exhibitions of the Mitki Group. Exhibitions: The Moscow House of Photography (2006), the Krokin Gallery (2002-2009), The Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2009) and others. Lives and works in Moscow.

I showed this exhibition for the first time in the Krokin Gallery. Painted many pictures about Moscow, but not about Moscow courtyards, but about a different life. About courtyards that no longer exist. I found myself in a truly different, city, alien to me, with expensive shops, boutiques, window displays, skyscrapers. Yesterday there was a book shop here, today – a furniture shop, tomorrow – a pharmacy. All the old houses have been knocked down, they are building something clumsy and definitely to the sky. Everything is unrecognizable! And I spent my whole childhood in these places. Maybe it’s a question of age? You look at everything from the outside, not participating in what’s going on, but existing in it.
For me Moscow is lost and I think not only for me. Because I could just as successfully live in either Paris or Saint Petersburg. I never put down roots there, I really like Trubnaya, the Moscow autumn, the rustling of the leaves. But there is nothing left of Trubnaya except the name. In the place where the leaves used to rustle there’s some kind of shopping centre, right on Tsvetnoi Boulevard. Nothing recognisable is left of the place where my artist friends and I used to go to paint etudes and etudes are not painted there any more.
They don’t want to paint elite homes and shopping centres, and Moscow courtyards can no longer be entered, they are all fenced off and encoded. Security everywhere, paid parking, the construction sites of “precision building”. If you want to sit in a little courtyard under a “sunshade” and drink wine, then it means you have to buy this “sunshade” first. All this tinsel and colourful advertising is not for me, not my festivity. This partly explains the colouration of my black and white Moscow “landscapes”.
In the morning I go to the bus stop, I am surrounded by a mass of bustling little people on the background of a grey snow-less winter. No matter where you look, there are building cranes everywhere, monoliths and underground garages, and Moscow is no more. Slush and petards are underfoot. Packs of homeless dogs are all around, and the constant silhouette of Ostankinskaya Tower in front of one’s eyes.
Konstantin Batynkov


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