Selected works by Gosha Ostretsov

Gosha Ostretsov
Wounded Deer

2012

Lime wood, painted pine, iron

150 x 94 x 60 / plinth: 150 x 150 cm

Gosha Ostretsov’s multimedia practice is informed by a variety of subjects, such as early avant-garde art movements and cutting-edge contemporary fashion, but above all, by a fascination with comics and their strange contextualisation within post-Soviet culture.

Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

Working in the Paris fashion world in the 1980s and ’90s, Ostretsov became more and more involved with costume-art and performance. His interest in comic-strip and superhero culture led him to make grotesque latex masks, which have since then played a central role in his exploration through ‘action figures’ of the representation of power.

Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City (detail) - Lightning

2008

Acrylic on canvas

210 x 115 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City (detail) - Medicine

2008

Acrylic on canvas

212 x 210 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City (detail) - Kiss

2008

Acrylic on canvas

212 x 210 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City (detail) - House Explosion

2008

Acrylic on canvas

210 x 241 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Sex In The City - Heads Of New Government

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

Comics have not been assimilated into Russian art in the same way as they were by Pop artists in the West. In fact, they are still considered somewhat alien and certainly not the medium with which to convey anything serious. Ostretsov has knowingly subverted this received idea by co-opting the resistance to comics and pop culture in works such as Sex in the City, using them as a colourful, mass culture form “[to polemicize] with the profound, rather heavy-handed conceptualist approach”.

Gosha Ostretsov
Sex

2008

Acrylic on canvas

210 x 315 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Mask Of New Government 1

2003

Latex and plywood

47 x 30 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Mask Of New Government 2

2003

Latex and plywood

52 x 35 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Mask Of New Government 3

2003

Latex and plywood

49 x 32 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Mask Of New Government 4

2003

Latex and plywood

45 x 37 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Mask of New Government 5

2003

Latex and plywood

41 x 40 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government

2008

Mixed media

Overall size: 250 x 900 x 245 cm
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government - Cell 696 (and details)

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government - Cell 699 (and detail)

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions Variable
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government - Cell 666

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government - Cell 996

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable
Gosha Ostretsov
Criminal Government - Cell 999

2008

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

His Criminal Government cells hold realistic figures in bloodied business suits, some with limbs missing and all with slightly terrifying abstract-shaped heads. Crude graffiti and symbols of interrogation and torture (bare light bulbs, cut-off hands) abound. In this fantasy comic-book world, government officials, usually acceptable ‘baddies’, are dehumanized and punished, or pushed to suicide, like prisoners of war. The bluntness of cartoon language is used to invert real-life situations and unveil such horrors.

The comparatively sober Wounded Deer, with its mask-like head and arrow turned into antlers, is playfully reminiscent of decapitated communist-era statues, of pieces found and nominally re-arranged into a junkyard-style re-formation of history.

Text by Lupe Nùñez-Fernández


Articles

MARTIAL STROKES, MOVING MESSAGE: KRITI ARORA
Hello Moscow, June 13 2006 by Walter Robinson

In truth, the Moscow scene is quite small, and has a certain collegial quality. The extent of the clubbiness -- and perhaps its tensions -- was demonstrated by a special project for Art Moscow done by the young artist Georgy Ostretsov, who exhibits with Guelman Gallery and is quite the master of a Marvel Comics-style action scenes, which he paints in black and then splatters with color, in what turns out to be a lively combination of Pop and Jackson Pollock.

For Art Moscow, Ostretsov made several mural-sized comic strips on panels and installed them on the walls of the exposition hall stairwells and landings -- but the superheroes in the action-packed, montage-like paintings are local dealers, curators and critics. At the Guelman Gallery booth, a largish painting titled Afterparty (2006) was £15,000, while a freestanding wood sculpture of a hare-headed human with four arms and two pump shotguns, titled Hair the Shooter (2005), was sold for £20,000. "The language of comics, especially ones like these, is still rather alien to Russia," noted Milovzozova.

Of all the booths at Art Moscow, the Guelman Gallery installation perhaps looked the most like one of the high-key galleries at Frieze or the Armory Show. Guelman represents the Blue Noses (Viacheslav Mizin and Alexander Shaburov), who seem to be able to effortlessly find opportunities for comedy in Russian history and society. Among their works is an entire "Kitchen Suprematism" series of color photos of pieces of bread, salami and cheese arranged like early Constructivist paintings -- a slice of Russian black bread standing in for Kasimir Malevich's 1913 Black Square, for instance -- and Revolutionary Icons (2006), a flat-screen vid showing a Lenin figure stretched out like a crucified Christ with two smaller Stalin figures kneeling before him -- a bit of religious doggerel that can still raise hackles in Russia. The prices were £3,000 for a photo and £4,000 for a DVD, both in an edition of ten.

Source: artnet.de