“…Too good to refuse
Too awful to accept…”
Crystal Boots is a project by Ivan Gorshkov that unites the key themes and motifs of the artist’s work over the last two years. The paintings and sculptures on exhibit are pulled together into one vague subject, a single scene. In the words of the artist, “the characters in this story found themselves in a strange situation, in the middle of some unsolvable equation”. The artist is trying to understand just what has happened to them:
“What does the title refer to? Crystal Boots could be a magical artifact or an attribute of a ritual. It is reminiscent of the fairy tale where you must wear out three pairs of iron boots, grind down three cast-iron shepherd’s crooks on the grass, and chew through three loaves of stone bread in order to find new life. It brings to mind the crystal coffin where the princess awaits the prince’s kiss. In other words, situations where heroes are in a critical, oppressed state until specific conditions are met. You can’t go anywhere in “crystal boots” – they are boots of torpor. And so the fate of the “crystal boots” falls to our heroes. It seems they have become lost, stuck, hung up, bogged down, confused, unsure of where they started. It’s as if they were caught in an ambush, got a concussion, were blinded and lost their way. In the face of a difficult dilemma they froze, melted in indecision, crystallized, forgot themselves, and dried up… This exhibit is dedicated to such traps, doubts, and apprehensions” (Ivan Grishkov).
Ivan Gorshkov was born in Voronezh in 1986. In 2008, he graduated from the art department at VSPU (Voronezh State Pedagogical University). He is an outstanding representative of the “Voronezh wave” and a co-founder of the Voronezh center of contemporary art. According to The Art Newspaper Russia, he placed 20th out of 50 in their rating of young artists of Russia. He is also a three-time scholarship recipient in the Garage Center’s program to support emerging artists. Crystal Boots is Ivan Gorshkov’s first personal exhibit in Saint Petersburg.