Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Bitter truth of reality

Volodymyr Kazanevsky’s graphic works and paintings at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum
16 April, 2015 - 14:27

Recent works by Volodymyr Kazanevsky are harshly critical and even ruthless. It is especially noticeable in the series dedicated to politicians and the military. New works by the artist could be seen at the exhibition, a total of 45 drawings and 10 vivid paintings. These are short allegoric formulas, a peculiar live and grotesque world of sharp and concise images, which leaves you alone with bitter and quite frank truth about our most burning issues and troubles.

The exhibition masterminds think that in Kazanevsky’s works, modern society is shown to the audience without adornments, its essence is stripped, both spiritual and social. There is irony and humor there, but no hopelessness.

The artist does not seek complicated interpretations, that is why his works do not leave viewers confused at the excessive complexity of the author’s implications. Any viewer will be able to easily guess the nature of a character boldly exposed by the author: masks are torn off, roles are obvious, all images are painfully well-known from TV stories, and it is clear that they are part and parcel of our everyday life. The drawings are precisely aimed at the opening of our consciousness for bitter truth about our present-day reality: they uncompromisingly hit the nail on the head.

The most sarcastic are the sketches in the series titled “Knees,” devoted to politicians, bureaucrats, and Russian military aggressors. Another series, “Time,” mainly covers social problems: the artist deals with the inner sores of contemporary society and exposes our universal human shortcomings and secret weaknesses. Kazanevsky’s sharpest drawings refer to the recent war events, and notably, they remain untitled. The reason might be that the message of these cartoons is clear to everyone, even to a child, so the author chose to leave this series without comments, just for the viewers to judge.

Kazanevsky’s personal exhibitions enjoyed success in the US, Japan, France, Serbia, Iran, Belgium, Poland, and Romania. His vivid, expressive drawings can be found in private collections in Paris, San Francisco, New York, Brussels, Basel, Toyo, and in numerous museums worldwide. International juries have honored the artist with many awards, he has 70 Grand Prix and several first prizes, his sketches have won recognition and awards at prestigious international competitions and festivals in 49           countries, including

France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, Brazil, Cuba, Iran, China, and Japan.

By Olena SHAPIRO. Illustration courtesy of the press center of the Museum