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


Other Resources

artfacts.net
Additional images and information – Gosha Ostretsov

artnet.com
Various and images – Gosha Ostretsov

ostretsov.com
Artists own website, gallery of images, past and future projects and biographical information

paradiserow.com
The exhibition brings together works that exemplify the vein of absurdity and black humor that has been an enduring characteristic of Russian culture, from the early 19th century literary works of Gogol, to absurdists writings and theatre of the OBERIU group headed by Daniil Kharms, to the seminal narrative installation works of Ilya Kabakov, to the work of young artists in Russia today.

gif.ru
The experience of working in international art and fashion-projects inspired Georgiy Ostretsov, after his return from Paris, to make the artistic-political project of the "New Government" – of the utopia of art as an active, although not always simple, like in utopia, political power.

guelman.ru
Guelman Gallery, Moscow. Representing gallery for Gosha Ostretsov.