Friday, April 10, 2009
Oleg Denisenko (b. 1957 OR 1961) is a Ukranian printmaker, calligrapher, author and sculptor. His characters, with their medieval armor, their questionable horses, and their general bizarreness, remind me a lot of Don Quixote. Angelic wings, astrolabes, da Vinci drawings, books, swords, masks, and chicken legs. All together.
"The magic of black and white on the shining summits touches the heart with soft and disturbing breath of patina. It is very real... it is forever... The wish to comprehend the absolute truth is so desirable, but so unattainable. And only when we touch it the hope is born again. The holiness of taboo is esteemed. The pilgrim will tread three thousand ways until the echo of the man in the golden helmet will be heard. And tomorrow’s rain will prove the idea of the adherence to the golden mean. Finally the puzzle should be solved." - Oleg Denisenko
The faces are very similar to those in the icons of the eastern orthodox church, even sometimes laid out in squares as if they were mosaic.
"horn of hope"
In both of the above "hope" images, there is a strange symbol: on the shield and in the chalice. I believe this is a curled swastika, which was present in pre-Christian Slavic mythology as a sign of the sun god Svarog, and called "The Wheel of Svarog". According to Wikipedia, "It is a magic sign manifesting the power and majesty of the sun and fire... It was the symbol of power...both lay and divine." It later became popular as ornamentation on Easter eggs, as it was a symbol of the victory of Christ over death in the medieval Church.
If you know this to be the wrong understanding of the symbol, please LET ME KNOW.
there is so much fine detail in these... for example, in the above etching, if you look closely, you see he is riding a bird on a wheel...
You may also notice that many of the etchings bear the words "Ex Libris." Oleg Denisenko was a laureate in a large competition in 1994, winning a silver medal. According to the press release: In September 1994, at the initiative of and in cooperation with the Swiss Embassy, the Belgrade Ex-libris Circle launched two international competitions in the field of applied arts under the title World of Ex-libris. Ex-libris, or bookplates as they are often called in English, are small art graphics which a person pastes into his books in order to identify them as his property...Over 1200 artists from 63 countries submitted some 6500 ex-libris for the artists' competition, making it the largest event of its kind ever held in this specific field of applied graphic arts.
The name Daedalus means "cunning worker." He was the creator, in Greek mythology, of the labyrinth for King Minos. According to Wikipedia, he was "so skillful that he was said to have invented images that seemed to move about." Art becoming life.... According to mythology, he created functioning wings with his art, with which he and his son were able to fly. Pliny credited him with the creation of carpentry.
You can see a slideshow of many (many) of his works here:
I recommend visiting this site, where you can see his images much larger, which helps, with the overwhelming amounts of little details: