Misha Levin


'Carpet' series

The central issue of this series of works is the contrast between recognizable, iconic images that evoke associations with western and eastern cultures. The stylistics of the representation is constructed in such a way that there is a clear contradiction and a discrepancy between the elements of the carpet ornament and figurative images, which, therefore, translates the feeling of inconsistency in the understanding and relationship of cultural codes.

Equally important is the theme of isolation. For the Soviet era, the carpet was not only a decorative element of the interior, but also an instrument of soundproofing in Khrushchev's apartments. Carpets were hung on the walls in the hope of shielding themselves from the outside world and to create a personal space. The growing sense of return the situation of isolation of the country and limitation of freedom of expression makes the "carpet reception" an actual illustration of the current situation in Russia.

The artist uses the carpet as a background and as an imitation of the image of real objects, which refers us to the issue of "fake" in contemporary society. Visually, the representation of the carpet is perceived as a real carpet from a certain distance, but it becomes clear near it that it is not. "Fake” expressed in composition, plot images, carved from glossy magazines. In the compositions used images of food, mainly depicting "banned" - foreign products that are under sanctions in Russia. Thanks to this, the products themselves become some forbidden fruit for certain strata of society, thus referring to the biblical-mythological context, which formally intersects with the tradition of the classical tapestry.

On the other hand, the carpet sends the artist to the sensations of childhood and memories of a family apartment filled with antique things, including carpets handed down from generation to generation. For the child, the carpet was a playing field and served as an arena for all sorts of fictional and real game situations. For the artist, work on this series served as a rethinking of the children's game, as a concept, in the realities of modern life. Different images are mixed with each other, they juggle, which as a result gives us some absurdity and a pun that does not cease nevertheless to be the artist's reflection on the difficult, acute, important topics of today.

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