Max (Mikhail) Ryleev–interdisciplinary artist and cross-cultural investigator.
"Years of medical studies combined with intensive sketching practice throughout the Anatomy course alongside with various acquisitions of the Art (BFA), Philosophy, Psychology, and Anthropology - gave an inspirational and conceptual background to my art work. Nevertheless, I still regard myself as self-taught artist.
Intensive travel and life experience made changes of my perspectives constantly shifting horizon of understanding. Kaleidoscopes of traditions, religions, and societal norms offered me a chance to learn things in depth.
In my recent artworks I tend to explore the negativity, repulsiveness, and grotesque as the masks used to hide pure intensity. I conduct this exploration in order to transform the negativity or rather to remove negative component from the intensity itself. Therefore, I have employed various forms that signify violence, aggression, vengeance, and superstitions.
I call this genre Post-figurative despite the fact that figures and their anatomical parts are still clearly recognizable for the viewer. I was not about to depict fleshy forms and its sensuality as such yet I used forms with shifts and deformations in order to symbolize the inner state of action triggered by empty motivation. For my opinion post-conceptual is characterized by conceptual vacuum on the one hand and abundance of concepts on the other. This pure contradiction brings to the light "zombies" –active but empty substances resembling the life forms. This is a theater of cruelty and a comedy at the same time. Wherein, the real laughter and the real pain become unreal but one can still use their "shells" to trace the original purpose of the "human spectacle" ".