Watch out! It’s going to pop at Erarta Galleries Zurich this spring with the upcoming exhibition Russian Neon showcasing two of Russia`s hottest artists mastering neon colors as a fun-damental element in their work. Erarta Galleries Zurich is the first to feature these lush works.

Neon colors are big, bold and radiant and their illusory effects have become an indispensable desire to contemporary life. Whether they are present in fashion, design or signs – one cannot avoid the luminance attraction. Shortly after their invention in the 1960s artists started to experiment with the neon experience with day glow colors and neon-colored Plexi-glas. The artistic fascination remains unbroken and is only growing and developing.

In the series Russian Crusades Egor Bogachev stylizes icons of modern pop culture like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Madonna into Russian icons as a symbol of the ambivalent cultural self-discovery of Russia after the end of the Soviet Union. The artist calls Russian icons “miracles of light before which, even atheists are seized by awe”. By equipping western Divas with tsarist regalia, neon halos and golden reason the artist creates equally glittering and graceful travesties.

In the series Lenin Line, Egor Bogachev turns to the iconic figure of Lenin. During Soviet time Lenin became an icon of the revolution as Soviet ideology became the new belief. In these gemlike works on Plexiglass Bogachev crosses Lenin with different spiritual symbols as well and artistic influences from Alexander Rodschenko’s photography. By using bright neon colors he neutralizes the pathos of Lenin as a historical figure to create syncretic parodies.

Not only does Bogachev combine striking subjects in his works he also utilizes diverse techniques to create his rich aesthetics. Masterly he combines bitumen varnish, oil and acrylic revealing his painterly skills reminding the viewer of his artistic knowledge of oeuvres by Picasso or the Russian avant garde. By integrating transparent film with different images allows him to organically integrate the scenic plane principle of collage. Obtaining mixed media with color under transparent carved fragments and by using various solvents, palette knife, cut out different stencils, markers, oil pastels and sometimes gold leaf he achieves the incredible beauty of texture.

Katya Krasnaya on the other hand features dynamic color of decorative pop-art aesthetics and daring freedom of urban art. Her painting is irrepressible street art fit onto canvas and adapted for interiors. To achieve this she depicts laconic subjects like suburban houses or a pig adding a layer of colorful drips and graffiti tags.

The exhibition Russian Neon uncovers a colorful Russian perspective on cultural globalization. A dream of technological progress of the country and hopes for spiritual maturity of a nation whose dreams must understandably be emphasized extra neon bright against a dim background.

Erarta Galleries
Gerbergasse 6
Zürich CH 8001 Switzerland
Ph. +41 (0)43 3446040

Opening hours
Tuesday - Friday from 10am to 6pm
Saturday from 11am to 5pm

Related images

  1. Egor Bogachev, Boris and Gleb, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 150 x 100 cm
  2. Egor Bogachev, Marilyn, 2013, Mixed media on canvas, 150 x 95 cm
  3. Egor Bogachev, Russian Monroe, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 150 x 100 cm
  4. Egor Bogachev, Untitled 6 from the series Lenin Line, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 26 x 26 cm
  5. Egor Bogachev, Untitled 5 from the series Lenin Line, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 26 x 26 cm
  6. Egor Bogachev, Untitled 5 from the series Lenin Line, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 13 x 13 cm