Great to see this new print by Russian graffiti/street artist Dmitri Aske (aka Sicksystems), who has been on the street since 2000 and has developed his fine art practice in studio, in commercial projects, and on large scale murals in recent years. A modern stained glass motif freezes the action of the mundane, catching a moment like a photograph, his figures are transmitted into archetypes in a modern scene.
A student, editor, and lecturer on the Russian graffiti scene, Aske gave us a rare and unexpected personal tour of some of his favorite spots one afternoon in Moscow when we were there to curate at the Atmosphere Biennale in 2018. His ease transversing the margins of the city included revealing hidden walls and stopping into a gallery to show us interactive digital works. This multi-discipline approach is illustrated by his defined colorful graphic approach to mosaic reliefs made of plywood, large-scale murals, and sculptures in public and private.
Here in this new print issued by Winzavod Art Center in Moscow, Aske captures the staid, proforma stances of gallery-goers contemplating the work of an artist, in this case his own. By placing himself in the situation, he is showing you his world, and ours – without outward expression, but capturing the subtleties of spatial relationships and body language that may be expected in the formalized atmosphere of a museum or gallery.
In fact, the new print is a distillation detail from a larger mural work he completed on the campus of Winzavod, a public/private exhibition complex in Moscow that serves as a social and educational platform for discovery and discussion of the legacies of graffiti and street art as they transition into all manner of urban contemporary art.
“Recently, I’ve made a new mural at @winzavod in Moscow (approximately 7x30m, 210m2). It’s called ‘Colleagues’ and is dedicated to viewers, art collectors, curators, and artists, people who are both my peers and whom Winzavod was made for,” he says.