Organic Way


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In the early 1990s Alexei Kostroma proclaims a new trend in contemporary art – organic, which can be traced to some highly original works of early-twentieth-century Russian Avant-Garde. It was this “organic” path, connected with the study of the laws of development of animate nature that allowed Kostroma to form his personal approach and his concept of the relationship between aesthetic theory and creative practice in contemporary art. His oeuvre is always rooted in research regarding the process of interaction between nature and man, and he strives to integrate the resulting knowledge into the social environment. The artist always follows several directions of the development of his subject, speaking about internal problems of human existence through the laws of the functioning of nature and perceiving the world as a single entity. What happens in nature is the starting point of his reflection, in nature as a physical and cultural-historical phenomenon. “Everything that surrounds us and everything inside us serves as material for work”. On the one hand, his art is always ultra-modern, because the performances he creates are centered around highly-inventive, technically flawless installations that use the most up-to-date high-tech equipment; on the other – it is archaic and serious, reminding us that art is a universal instrument of comprehending the world, that it is research from scratch, with wide-open eyes and switched-on intuition.

Alexei Kostroma chooses some very original material for his work – white feathers.

He has been using the former for more than fifteen years. “For me feathers were never primarily decorative material, – says the artist, – this is why I absolutely exclude any color in this material. White is not just purity and primeval existence. White is the beginning of everything, even in painting. A feather for me is a sign of lightness and purity. A feather attracts, it charms, it has absolutely no aggression…”.

Since then the artist feathered a lot of things both in Russia and abroad. His outstanding performances involving feathers are widely known – feathered cannon, penguin spiral, an enormous feathered egg, “Copper Horseman” monument to Peter the Great, St. Peter’s schooner, a “Volga” automobile, a purse in the form of a gigantic throat, a white carnival and many other things. In 1994 Kostroma began his significant project “Feathering of Names and Symbols”, which he is still working on. It includes the well-known, “icon” works of art, from classical to contemporary. “Mona Lisa”, “Black Square”, Coca-Cola cans, “Eye” by Rene Magritte, “Chair” by Joseph Kosuth, a plaster head of Stalin, “Rabbit” by Jeff Koons, etc. He always manages to create an atmosphere of a real feast, be it inside a museum or outdoors.

Alexei Kostroma worked out an individual theory of colour and his own concept of Figurative-Numerical Painting.