30 JANUARY - 2 MARCH 2019
ARTIST : Michail Michailov
DRAWING NOW AWARDS 2018
Michail Michailov, so little
At first glance, there is nothing. At least so little that the eye is immediately summoned to scrutinize the sheet of paper on which he thinks he sees only fine dust or grease stains. On closer inspection, he quickly takes the measure of a form of trompe-l'oeil, to finally dig even further and discover how the artist competes with reality with the help of simple black and colored pencils. Thwarts all perception of it and turns it over to the order of a pretense.
However, Michail Michailov's art is not content with being required by illusion, however perfect it may be; he is especially so by this feeling of vertigo which his work instills in the test of emptiness. The more so as the immaculate sheet of paper on which he applies himself to reproduce, as faithfully as possible, the insignificance of these small dirt paradoxically appears even more empty with the drawing.
From the latter's relation to the imprint, it is no longer time to gloss. Everything was said. But the organic character of the subject itself, which the artist grasps, gives each of his sheets a lively and sensitive charge that refers to the body. Its presence is never expressed better than through the notion of trace, starting from the idea of dirt, if not of humor. Michail Michailov's drawings present all kinds of signs that determine strange microcosms, on edge.
Michail Michailov, dusttodust#11 (detail), 2016, colored pencils on paper, 59 x 84 cm.
© Michail Michailov.
The artist Michail Michailov uses in his works different artistic media such as drawing, performance, video and photography. His approach deals in a playful way with his 'self' and his 'self' in relation to his environment / his environment / his situation. Questions about the presence/human being are asked. Success and failure, self-discovery and self-doubt, the quest for happiness, the transcendence of limits are recurring topics. In doing so, he uses his own name and personality as a metaphor for existence, self, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment in a globalized society. It takes different cultural phenomena that influence human behavior and challenges a society that seeks perfection.
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In his series of dust to dust drawings, 2014 - 2017, he dedicates himself to these balls of dust, debris and stains that have accumulated in his studio, meticulously describing them with colored pencils on paper. In doing so, it promotes an unobserved phenomenon – the agglomeration of dust and debris in our consciousness while it elevates dirt to the status of a work of art. The intensive effort required by the drawing process comes into tension with the value assigned to the starting material.
Elsy Lahner, Albertina Museum, 2017