Dnipro Underground - Denis Metelin
Composition: Canvas acrylic spray
Dimensions: 90 cm x 130 cm
Finish: This artwork is framed
Artwork Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Delivery: This artwork will be sent by the Petrichor Gallery in Berlin. It will be sent to your local Pack + Send Depot for collection.
There may be delays with shipping due to the impact of the war. We thank you in advance for your support, patience and understanding.
Artist Bio: An artist from a young age, Denis was born in the Crimea where he spent his boyhood immersed in the street scene, surrounded by graffiti, rap music and computer games. Denis developed a keen interest in the works of iconic international street artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey that were featured in the computer game Mark Ecko's Getting Up.
In 2014 Denis’s life as he knew it was irrevocably changed when his family were forced to flee from Crimea to Ukraine. This was a pre curser to the war that started in Eastern Ukraine a few months later. Deeply traumatised by the onset of war, Denis continued his artistic studies in Lviv and then moved to Opole, Poland to complete his Master’s Degree.
Being the second big move in his life, Denis had no art materials and so purchased a stack of printer paper and a red and blue pen and started drawing his story and the story of his family, working though his trauma and developing his current artistic style. 4 years on and the red colour has stuck with him. In early 2021, Denis realized that he had to move on in his work. His project Decommunization was born.
A body of bright, colourful socio-political works aimed at gradually rethinking the Soviet heritage and his country's place in the world. “I realized that people don't like to look at dark colors, sad images and they don't want a layer of moralizing from above, so I decided to make bright, cheerful images with an absurd plot at first glance, all to draw the viewer's attention to the image.
Since I already had a street background and some European education, I returned to the visual style of the Soviet Union in my work, disguising my work as something familiar to all people - the Soviet monumental art. An important narrative of the Soviet Union was the mixing of all peoples and nations into one gray mass, the idea was to deprive people of their identity, to make all the occupied territories "one people." On the contrary, I tried to find my identity with my work.
Since I had a psychological trauma related to the war, and the war in eastern Ukraine has not stopped for the last 8 years, my goal was to show strong characters among ordinary people, to show that it is normal to resist aggression and that you can resist any aggression. Now, during the active phase of the war, my work has become a bit simpler and shows events very straightforwardly, now is the time for quick decisions, no time to think.”
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