Ivan Tarasyuk’s work is widely recognized in Russia. The number of solo exhibitions has by now exceeded seventy. And, as a result of many years of work at the Imperial Porcelain Factor, images made by Ivan Tarasyuk travel all around the world and live among people.
Tarasyuk’s dynamic world closely relates to a human being, in other words, to the viewer, the addressee of his efforts. The artist is fascinated by the busy streets, crowded theatres and stadiums, flows of people circulating on public transport. Ivan Tarasyuk depicts his contemporaries, city traffic with a certain degree of convention.
Similar works could have belonged to the 1920s, or, perhaps, the 1960s. Jazz, circus or game of rugby are as far-removed from today’s reality as, for instance, hair curlers, which can frequently be seen on the heads of Tarasyuk’s characters. The artist interprets the same subject in the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. There is no use in looking for a hysterical enthusiasm of Perestroika era or a vulgar impertinence of the 1990s in his works. A retro effect arises from the professional seriousness characteristic of the artist’s approach to his work. In other words, these works are created to remain relevant and valuable centuries from now. The author encodes the world in accordance with the laws of art, keeping at the same time a particular spirit of the era. Regardless of the historical period, a person always remains a person; and it’s a person that interests the author the most.
Though not obvious at first sight, a lot of Tarasyuk’s paintings communicate the atmosphere of urban melancholy that shows through the restrained colours and masklike faces of his characters. Tarasyuk’s hero is a depersonalized mask of a citizen or a performer who never fully opens himself up to the viewer. Such setup sheds light on the mysterious title of the exhibition, “There are Things of Dual Nature”.
Being true to yourself is one of the most important artistic rules followed by Ivan Tarasyuk. The artist persists in developing his own themes without concern for his colleagues, the fashion on conceptual art, digital aesthetics, or social issues.
The artist time and time again returns to highly symbolic plots as if he is trying to overtake his own characters. He explores the same subjects by means of lithography, painting, sculpture, or porcelain painting. The work with porcelain is another step away from the contemporary art to the “unbearable lightness of being”.
The artist looks for the perfect harmony for his characters, that is to say, he tunes them for the further interpretation through different techniques. In this case, the creative work is likened to jazz with its endless harmonic developments, the art of improvisation and thrilling solos on variety of instruments. This music genre itself is the closest to the artist in spirit. Every painting by Tarasyuk is a kind of jazz improvisation, familiar and expected, and yet always new.