S I L E N T I U M
September 8 - November 11, 2022
In his new exhibition, featuring the artistic masks he has created over the past two years, Dimitry Shabalin once again plays the role of the extraterrestrial jeweler, fashioning fanciful worlds from the detritus of mass culture and the kitsch industry.
The artist claims to reassemble himself anew in every one of his pieces, by joining together hitherto haphazard and chaotic objects. Shabalin transforms discarded toys, vintage costume jewelry, souvenirs, pins, and Christmas ornaments into what might be mistaken for an ancient treasure or, sometimes, into a psychedelic visual mishmash of shifting shapes.
With unbridled creative freedom and a keen sense of symmetry, the artist juxtaposes wildly different objects in his collages to bring out his very own vision of the world as a holistic, organic unity and a synthesis of all parts, no matter how disparate, within a shared kaleidoscopic space.
In the universes Shabalin builds, warrior gods of myth and ancient Egyptian priests rub shoulders with Ninja Turtles, Disney characters, Pikachu, My Little Ponies, Transformers, Spiderman, and the Avengers. "To me, these are faces of the different civilizations inhabiting the Universe. The making of a mask is a sacred process in which I reincarnate as the character I am molding. These images are born of my dreams, fantasies, and memories," the artist says, explaining his work.
Shabalin quotes the iconic Tyutchev as a title for his show, electing to remain silent himself.
Live in your inner self alone.
Within your soul a world has grown.
This slogan of creative escapism reverberates through the motley world of Shabalin's masks.
The artist delegates his voice to the churning of the collective unconscious, manifested in kitschy imagery. Displaced into a notion of "childhood subculture", it confronts the viewer, refracted through the artist's personal creative experience.