A new illustrated tome capturing the black and white work of one-half of Ukraine’s mural painting duo Interesni Kazki welcomes you into the past wonders and future imaginings of a world framed in “Phantasmagoria.”
Full of monochromatic fantasies at least partially inspired by the worlds unleashed by Belgian inventor and physicist Étienne-Gaspard “Robertson” Robert, Waone’s own interior expanding fantascope of miss-appended demons, dragon slayers, riddle-speaking botanicals, and mythological heroes may borrow as deeply from his father’s Soviet natural science magazines that brimmed with hand-painted illustrations – which served as his education and entertainment as a child.
Swimming and slithering through his subconscious may also be his college studies of agriculture and his many travels through the world with his co-painting mate AEC. The two ingenious kids had begun as part of a graffiti crew in the early 2000s but pursued non-letter representational surrealism in striking color on walls in nearby Kyiv as well as Europe and the Americas; a successful mural and fine art partnership that brought acclaim and gallery exhibitions as well as massive walls before ending so that each could pursue individual creative visions.
This book, the first of two volumes of graphic works, explores Waone’s move from the street into the studio, from full color into black and white, from aerosol and brush to etching, lithography, augmented reality, and sculpting.
With the aesthetics of a musty and mythical library, the illustrations open the preconceptions of psychology, offering myriad views through recombining familiar elements into unusual associations. In the process, you travel with Waone as he dedicates himself to this uncolorful view, which is nonetheless rich, if not tinged with a bit of antiseptic horror.
Notable is his most recent piece from 2020 – a fetal being floating through the cosmos that he calls “Apple of Discord“ – that suggests that perhaps these dissonant times are giving birth to new orchards.
“This artwork depicts the birth life and death of the ego,” he explains, and indeed he appears to have seen beyond this celestial fog elsewhere in the book. “When you have had this experience when you’ve become an extraction, you are able to perceive the world in a completely new way.”
Perhaps in a way that is Phantasmagorical?
“Worlds Of Phantasmagoria” By WAONE Interesni Kazki. Vol. 1. Graphic Works 2013-2020. Wawe Publishers.