Semen Faibisovich

faibisovich_sBorn in Moscow. During 1966-1972 studies in Moscow Institute of Architecture. Participates in exhibitions in the basement of Graphic Artists City Committee on Malaya Gruzinskaya Street ( Moscow). Starting 1987 takes part in exhibitions in the USA, Western Europe and USSR ( Russia) and helds more than 20 personal exhibitions. In 1995 stops painting. In 1993 becomes publicist and essayist. In 1997 gets “Znamya” magazine literature prize. In 2000 becomes the nominee of Andrey Bely prize. In 2007 recommences painting.

The Girls triptych simultaneously represents itself, the Razgulyai series because it is a part of it, and the Comeback project as the Razgulyai is a part of the former.
Comeback is my coming back to painting after a gap of many years, and it is simultaneously my return into the life around myself with its social, existential, and other sorts of tension which aroused the desire to get to the bottom of it. The new epoch must have “acquired its face”, so I felt like painting its portrait, like in the early 1980s when I was involuntarily attracted to portraying the Soviet epoch. I see a lot in common and a lot of differences in both epochs. The differences are more interesting and more “to the point”: they are mainly caused by technological revolutions and the post-Modernist epoch edged between the two socioeconomic periods underlying the borderline between them with its ideology…

And here is the result of it: everybody is clicking cell hones, playing with images in the Photoshop, and the Soviet sticky paranoics was replaced with loose schizoid that broke or destroyed cohesion, comprehensibility and wholeness of everything. But, on the other hand, the prerequisites for the new synthesis were born after all the fragments of waste were piled together. And the method of artwork production fits the spirit of our time: photographic images of basically low quality are carefully processed in the computer, and then they are crudely painted on the expensive “Repin” canvas with its classic ground paint, and then brushwork is done… Thus the ultimately democratic stands side by side with the elite, low quality sides with high quality, and various Photoshop tricks and painting methods are mixed together in the quest for the “new integrity”, in an effort to conceptualize, to grope for those “intermediate layers” (cultural, psychological, mass media, etc. in our case) which our eyes use to perceive reality.

Post-Modernism, in general, eliminated, or tried to eliminate, at least, a number of antagonisms along the line of “high or low”, such as good – evil, truth – lie, the elite and the popular (and in this country, reluctantly and en-passant, the antagonism of the spiritual and of the trivial was also annihilated, so the intelligentsia spirituality which waged a mortal struggle with commonplace triviality, grew inseparable from it. Or just indistinguishable). Your attitude to the breakthroughs and the achievements in this sphere may be different, but the scene of devastation inherited by post-Modernism is an incentive to gather stones. Even before, in the heat of the Razgulyai deconstruction, it was my sin, and I stubbornly and persistently wallowed in it, clashing with the total obstruction of reference groups, and now, when the sensual positive statement – what a wonder! – acquires its rights in the space of contemporary art, it is, perhaps, no longer a sin.

I live in the Razgulyai, so my series of the same title is about everything around myself. And, in a wider sense, it is a about the things that surround everybody who is entering a shop, a drugstore, takes a bus or climbs into his or her car in an average Russian town. For the most important and curious things are developing around yourself or right under your nose, and any plot, even the most trifling, accidental and momentary, has an obvious potential for the “universal” and “eternal” – this is what it is all about. I don’t know whether it is a “heroic” realism (Yekaterina Dyogot’s term), or it is an epic, a lyrical, or some other realism… this, or that, or every kind at once… it doesn’t matter: it is the realism of this reality. And my Girls triptych does not need any special introduction, it seems.
Semyon Faibisovich


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