Moscow Multimedia Art Museum and Marina Gisich Gallery present the exhibition by Gregory Maiofis – “Bestiary”.
G. Maiofis studied the classical tradition of drawing and painting in St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, as his father and grandfather. After living in the USA he got into the contemporary philosophy and arts, and this acquaintance has to a great extent determined the most important subjects in his art, such as text and interpretation. Ideas of psychoanalysis, deconstructivism, post-structuralism influenced his intellectual development as an artist. Since the beginning of 2000-s G. Maiofis has appealed to photography, creating the staged compositions where he involves circus animals, ballet dancers, gymnasts, musicians. Since 2004 he has been practicing of alternative processes of photo printing (salt prints, bromoil processes etc.) He is one of the few artists who tries to renew the rare technology of the bromoil process which was out of use already before the World War II and actually exists on the border of photography and painting. He worked with these processes creating the series “Proverbs”, “Artist and model”; these series are revealed by the artist till the present moment.
“All works by Gregory Maiofis are all-sufficient statements with accomplished visual subject. I think this occurs primarily because he gets carried away with these subjects – he has the talent of story-teller and the excitement of narrating takes him a long way. A role – paradoxically – is also played by the fact that Maiofis is an artist who undoubtedly possesses a sense of humor”. (Alexander Borovsky, head of contemporary art department, the State Russian Museum).
The artist uses all “humor registers” – from absurd to everyday life; he takes the images of animals – bears, elephants, lions, monkeys. The subject and questions of “beastyness” appeal us to a certain type of creating the subject and even the genre forms, such as the fable.
Description of various beasts in prose and lyrics, mainly with allegoric or moralizing aims reminds us the tradition of classical medieval “bestiary”, where author as a rule tended to compare the described creatures with the images of religion and morality and decoded them as the hieroglyphs. Following the words of A. Borovsky, for many years Maiofis has been hammering away at one point while creating his “optical stories”. This point is “the question of presentation”.
The exhibition in Multimedia Art Museum reveals the artist’s appealing to the images of beasts; Maiofis provides his characters with the human features and tries to balance between conventionality and vitality.