NK Gallery is pleased to present NO CASH NO FLASH, the second solo exhibition of Alexei Kostroma, the German-Russian artist based in Berlin.
For this exhibition NK Gallery has selected the artworks (2006-2104), in which Alexei Kostroma reflects on the new religion of fashion and money in the contemporary materialist world. Playing with the codes of unavoidable advertising and symbols of glamour and desirable welfare, he depicts with ironic humour the ever-growing soap bubble of consumerism.
We recognize the cartoon character Scrooge McDuck, shown without head, in the series ‘Talking Heads’. Logotypes of brands and fashion houses, painted in oil on canvas, are melted, distorted, squeezed; the ephemeral content comes in contrast with the traditional medium. Strip style images with slogans dictate the values to follow: ‘No Passion No Fashion’. Moving skeletons of top models in flash lights – is that what everyone has to dream of? Men - to posses, women - to look like? Collage of oversized lips, breasts, perfumes, glossy magazines, all those ‘must-haves’, created and supported by the pedestal of oil money bubbles - is that what represents the aesthetic ideal of our epoch?
Alexei Kostroma was a pioneer of organic contemporary art, working with feather for more than 20 years. Kostroma feathers various objects from heavy and visual ones like a giant canon from Peter and Paul Fotress, which was acquired to the permanent Hermitage Collection to superphysical like Black Square and frames for his Black Mail series paintings. He has been extensively working with the fragile medium of egg shells to create stunning abstractions. The artist as well worked out an individual theory of colour and his own concept of Figurative-Numerical Painting. On the one hand, his art is always ultra-modern, because the installations he creates are centered around highly-inventive, technically flawless installations that use the most up-to-date high-tech equipment; on the other – it is archaic and serious, reminding us that art is a universal instrument of comprehending the world, that it is research from scratch, with wide-open eyes and switched-on intuition.