The art of Semyon Motolyanets is a conflict. A conflict between the artist’s reflexes and his ratio (“reason”). With a traditional fine arts education behind him, the painter is not able to control himself. He feels the first impulse to create something and unintentionally paints in the way he was taught. The next moment is an involuntary reaction to how it turned out: “God, what a vulgar sunset I’ve made!” The texts are the artist’s voice of reason, encumbered with postmodernist consciousness. What was beautiful in Kant has turned trivial. Traditional painting is not comme il faut.

The irony on the subject of generally accepted and well-established rules of the game in the capitalistic art world – big paintings solve big problems – looks like a form of protection, of self-identification and to some extent even resistance to evil, but it is also the pursuit of truth, lost in a vast field of illusions”.

Lizaveta Matveeva


Observing how beauty is produced in work interiors has evolved into a full-scale visual study for me. The embellishments that workers add in their spare moments aren't about aesthetics. It's like a road construction worker writing his name on the asphalt, or a house painter using leftover paint to attempt a picture of something. As an artist, I am certainly not trying to become this type of worker. My approach does strive to achieve this type of form, but by visually analyzing the work environment, I try to reconstruct image and form, utilizing the everyday that goes unnoticed when viewed from within the creative process. Different dimensions of interaction with the same substances emerge. On the one hand, wood shavings from the carpentry workshop become part of three-dimensional collages, and on the other hand, they are turned into compositions where it's essential that the scraps remain untouched and untransformed; they are simply arranged in the space. What makes it interesting is that these scraps are rejected from production like useless bits. After considering all these things that inspire me, I came to the conclusion that I need to go back and pick through what seem to be previously discarded elements, make an artificial choice and perform one more culling. The paintings in this project also have a defective element that allows us to peek beyond the image and thus neutralize the thing.

Semyon Motolyanets