Scandalous paintings by Vasily Shulzhenko

Scandalous paintings by Vasily Shulzhenko

Lenin and the peasants. Author Vasily Shulzhenko.

Scandalous paintings by Vasily Shulzhenko about the Russian outback

Creativity of Vasily Shulzhenko from Moscow is usually called scandalous. Some advocate for the truth in his paintings, for the ability to convey those moments that are somehow familiar to everyone. Others blame the artist for excessive attention to the unsightly aspects of life – how so, art should nurture in the souls of the viewer a tall, beautiful, and then such drunken faces and ugly bodies.

“I never lived among the people I depict, and I did not try to get them into my soul,” Vasily Shulzhenko tells about himself. Vasily lives in Moscow, however, most of the heroes of his paintings are desperate villagers, where apart from drunkenness, they have nothing to entertain themselves. As the artist admits, the very images of such heroes take their origins in his childhood, when Vasily spent the summer at the cottage under Kasimov. And he began to draw them much later.
Many accuse Shulzhenko of the fact that he does not like Russians – why not portray great people, painted beauties, or at least the chic Russian nature, why pay attention to the obvious defects of society. “And why should we love us?” Shulzhenko says, “Yes, we are the worst people in the world – evil, lazy, envious!” For example, an American will say: “My neighbor Sam is a good man, he’s so successful!” And our village drunkard will hate and despise a working prosperous peasant. ”
Shulzhenko assures us that the difference between cultures manifests itself not only in behavior towards more successful neighbors, but also in how Americans and the Russian pictures of him are perceived. Russians are often unpleasant to see “cattle,” they want to not see such scenes as if they did not exist.
Of course, Shulzhenko’s paintings stand out against the backdrop of the works of other artists with their epatage. They can be evaluated differently, perceived differently, but we must admit that they really are different.
An artist from Donetsk Angela Jerich also takes for her paintings her childhood memories as a basis, but it is more light, permeated with subtle irony and nostalgia – and although her characters are far from models, her paintings leave a very warm feeling.