People who do a lot of thinking about the creative process have described it as the alchemical ability to take seemingly unrelated things and turn them into something new. When you can’t see the seams, the results feel fresh; when you can see the seams – like in mashups – the results feel simultaneously new, sly, and knowing. The work winks at you.
The Art History in Contemporary Life series winks at you like that. Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov’s ongoing digital collage project takes the gods, seraphim, and mythic critters of classical master paintings out of the museums, and puts them into modern-day urban Kiev. There’s Apollo, busking on the subway platform. There’s Diana, grabbing a Red Bull at the convenience shop.
Are these divine creatures brought low, or is the gritty environment elevated? Either way, this is magical realism at its best.