It’s not an easy task to pin Sasha Semyonov’s paintings to any existing trend in modern art owing to the amazing fluidity of his painterly style. Fantastic and grotesque images of his art emerge out of the infinite chaos being sieved through the artist’s creative universe. Aligned with the painter’s pictorial visions, these primordial elements adopt startlingly whimsical shapes. Yet the viewers relate to this bewitching and eccentric imagery through the patterns of dreams revealed by Sasha Semyonov in his splendid flow of colors and exceptional avant-garde technique. Moreover, these overwhelming fantasies looks strangely familiar because the language of dreams is both universal and personal, collective and individual. By delving into a puzzling world exempt of all established forms and appearances, we get a chance to grasp intuitively the sacred image of wholeness.
In Sasha Semyonov’s world, there is no subject object paradigm. Everything has its own spirit and for that very reason talks to us on terms of I AM. In this dreamland, the creative energy is manifested through mind-blowing colors and fascinating dimensions. Mosaic and patchy texture with its filigree patterns suggests that the matter itself is malleable and can be used like clay for sculpting the wild fantasies. That’s why these paintings can be perused over and over. They are not about intellectual puzzles but the boundless drift of imagination.
In his series of The Faces, there is no final image. Unlike the form and appearance, a face can never be complete. Finality is nothing but an illusion. Image is always being created from the ideas being projected in myriad ways and modes. That’s why each face has a number. The Face continues in endless reflections throughout the Cosmos and the way it manifests itself depends on perspective and aesthetics of its representation.
Similarly, in “The Morning Coffee”, the artist depicts the full potential of the moment a– it’s full presence at this very instant. In this pictorial dimension, there are no animate and inanimate nouns. Therefore, we see not the fragments trapped in grammar but the emotional waves, dreams and energies as the bold echoes of totality.
In his triptych, The Pilgrims, the concept of pilgrimage is unveiled as the inner epic of the soul. Thoughts, fears, doubts, etc. resurface from the solemn low-key drama depicted on the central part of the composition and seep through the dense matter of darkness. As the story unfolds, tonality of the painting also changes. It becomes warmer and lighter on the left and right sides of the triptych. The subject matter of this composition is the mind’s mystical journey to which the artist guides by using cryptic symbols and grotesque ornaments. As Marie-Louise von Franz stated “guiding hints or impulses come, not from the ego, but from the totality of the psyche: the Self.”
Sasha Semyonov was born in 1938 in Moscow. After graduation at the Moscow Print Academy in 1969, he participates in various exhibitions, including graphic design. His paintings have been featured in various prestigious galleries worldwide. In 1989 and 1998, he was presented at the Exhibition of Russian Modern Art in San Diego and at the Art Gallery Krasnaya in Jacksonville.
As an art critic Marina Gidulianis noted, Sasha Semyonov’s works evoke kaleidoscopes that used to enchant us when we were children by their puzzling shapes and colorful combinations. To many, his art might be also reminiscent of mandalas, which Carl Jung called the archetypes of wholeness. No words can convey better the spirit of Sasha Semyonov’s paintings than what Jung said about a mandala. While painting mandalas, “the picture seems to develop out of itself and often in opposition to one’s conscious intentions.”
In a way, Sasha Semyonov’s art is infused with what Pavel Filonov called “Universal Flowering”: the painting continues as a life-form due to its inherent potential for growth.