by Mary Ann Vincenta
The classical and elegant exhibit Inside Eternity challenges our temporal map. It is a library of timeless, floating dreams. The sculptor Natasha Dikarev and the painter Vladimir Dikarev tell us there is a beautiful place to live—for real—outside the stupid and evil cruelties of history, outside that which is petty, and outside the rat race, even as we inhabit our particular streets and calendar dates. The father-daughter team grounds us in our true home—the universality of mythology, philosophy, sacred text and the collective unconscious. They show us the touchstones of life that are found when all veneers are peeled away.
Natasha Dikarev’s sculptures hum with life. Many are columns of coarse
clay and steel rods whose stability represents a surprising engineering feat.
Lying on the floor around the bases are broken pieces of different unglazed
ceramic pots, arranged to look like a glued-on mosaic. They perhaps symbolize
the broken bits of the world made bearable by composing them into an aesthetically
pleasing form that simulates permanence. Ceramic faces of coarse clay and marvelously
employed stains and glazes, many of them on the pillars, evoke ancient Babylonia,
Iberia, Greece. One, “Yet another muse,” gazes through her glassy,
turquoise, powerful eyes at some ecstatic vision she sees across the harbor,
through whose waters we imagine she has just come, her upwardly spiraling hair
twisted and glistening.
than the pillars, there are whimsical, delightful pieces such as “Egg-O-Centrism
of the Soul” and “Fishing for Answers” that take a light look
at ego and doubt.
The colors of Vladimir Dikarev’s paintings are alluring in their tranquil
brightness. Their sensuality is arresting and ethereal. A white, luminous figure
with her back to the viewer fills the canvas of “Awaiting,” a very
large watercolor. One gets lost in the precise and extravagant details of spilled
wine, overflowing candle wax and the shimmering tablecloth, as well as in the
woman's dilemma. A funny little ship is already well within view but she continues
to wait. Perhaps it isn’t the right ship. Or perhaps she is locked into
the habit of waiting.
In other paintings, recognizable, realistic images are configured strangely
or placed in unexpected contexts, creating a humorous, and somewhat depressing,
effect. “Philosopher Travelling in a Shell,” another large watercolor,
references to Socrates and the barrel he wore. A bearded face wearing sun goggles
looks upward from the strange two-legged contraption in which he is riding.
There is no visible means of locomotion in the desolate landscape of sand, water
and candy-colored decorative arches.
Artrujillo, run by Alejandro Trujillo, is an exhibition space that is open not
only to artists of all cultures, but, as Alejandro put it, to artists “from
the most humble to the most advanced.” The artists of “Inside Eternity”
are obviously advanced. They have studied art since their youth and dominate
their craft as easily as most people walk and breathe.
The deep humanity, wisdom and beauty they share is a gift to our fledgling culture
and should be noted. ||
Inside Eternity runs through April 17 at ArTrujillo, 349 13th Ave. NE,
Mpls. 612-821-9076. Gallery hours are Tue.–Sat. noon–10 p.m. &
Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.