Welcome to the world of
Vladimir Kush, where myth, metaphor and poetry combine in new
forms. Through the juxtaposition of previously unrelated objects
and the exploration of different viewpoints, the Vladimir Kush's
work makes reference to deeper meanings and metaphors, while
still maintaining its realistic approach to representation, a
style Kush refers to as Metaphorical Realism.
Vladimir Kush was and grew up in Moscow, Russia. Kush's
father Oleg, a mathematician with artistic tendencies,
encouraged Vladimir’s natural talent at an early age. Vladimir
Kush's father also did his best to provide Vladimir with books
of romantic travel by hard to get (and sometimes banned) authors
such as Jules Verne, Jack London and Herman Melville, in the
hopes that his mind would wander outside the grey world that
encompassed him. At the age of seven, Vladimir Kush began the
formal training that led him to the Art Institute of Moscow
where Kush furthered his mastery of color theory, composition,
oils, and art techniques of all kinds. The school put forth what
could be called the Cezanne method, and though Vladimir Kush
quickly mastered it, he then left it behind because form was
lost in color and emotion took over where he felt the intellect
should rightly roam.
After a mandatory stint in the Russian Army where Vladimir Kush
mostly kept busy painting large murals and portraits of
generals, he briefly taught at his alma mater but found he could
make more money (and have enough free time to explore his newly
forming style) by painting portraits on the streets. It was
there that VladimirKush made connections with American embassy
workers who helped ease his transition to the US after Kush's
first successful show in Germany in 1989, brought him to Los
Angeles and eventually Maui, his home today.
Vladimir Kush still visits Moscow often where the cold, dark
winters force his imagination to roam, but the influence of the
Hawaiian skies is readily apparent in many of his paintings.
Vladimir sums it up for us: “Due to political and geographic
restraints, I was forced to travel with my mind as a child, and
it is this most of all that has shaped my artistic perception
and voice, but I would likely never have painted the colors or
clouds seen in my paintings if it hadn’t been for the sights of
my tropical, second home.”
Vladimir Kush has developed his own artistic credo that
substantiates his Metaphorical Realism and which, above all,
demands the following:
- Likeness, which is the evidence of high professional skill—it
makes the viewer believe in the world imagined by the artist, as
realism does in fiction and film.
- Avoidance of actual living forms, presenting the aesthetic
object rather than emotional subjects.
- The use of deep irony to reach real aesthetic enjoyment, and
as hammer to break apart old myths whose pieces will then be
re-assembled in new forms, a process known as re-mythologizing.
"I want to touch my audience on a much deeper emotional or
intellectual level than would be possible by painting a pretty
landscape or still life where viewers are tempted to place
themselves in the landscape, or consume the bowl of fruit—the
goal of realism is also its limitation. I try to provide layers
of meaning for viewers to explore and emotionally respond to the
discoveries they find in my art."
Vladimir Kush reaches for the realm of the incomprehensible
where his knowledge will not be enough. Kush substitutes
unreachable realities with metaphysical images; Vladimir throws
a veil, hiding the essence. Otherwise, science would intervene,
disintegrating the image and its beauty into components…what
then would happen to Mona Lisa’s famous smile?