GUM-Red-Line Gallery presents Farid Bogdalov’s solo exhibition “The Ninth Wave” showcasing over 40 new works from the artist’s various painting and graphic art series created from 2017 to 2023.
Painting remains the artist’s primary medium. The public will experience the new series “Goldfish” for the first time. The artist worked on it since 2018. In this particular case, the goldfish represents Fortune, the goddess of good luck and the granter of wishes. Bogdalov places the caught fishes into turned-over glasses as though to suggest the question: how can you possibly obtain luck without spilling some water?
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bogdalov envisioned a cycle on the theme of the great flood. All paintings from the cycle are connected through a narrative of the coming catastrophe. The protagonists of the paintings peacefully relax on an ocean beach while completely disregarding the large wave that is about to unleash destruction upon them. This postmodern series sees the artist uniting Russian romanticism and the visual aspects of American pop art. The subject matter of Ivan Aivazovsky’s famous painting “The Ninth Wave” is reimagined: Bogdalov introduces us not to the catastrophe and its tragic aftermath, but the moment just before the catastrophe strikes.
Pop art with just a bit of rot is another theme that runs through the artist’s oeuvres. Works from the series appear enticing and alarming at the same time. A big piece of cake seemingly shot for a fashion magazine cover is already being eaten by a fly, while an appetizing burger reveals itself to be completely inedible upon closer inspection. As a revelation of the artist’s vision of the surrounding world, two realities collide: the idealized world of ads and the forthcoming disaster.
Project curator — Mikhail Sidlin