MY TEACHER

Vsevolod Mechkovsky belongs to the generation of artists formed after World War Two. So, his first canvas “Dissidents – 68” is a protest against violence. He considers the invasion of Soviet tanks to Chekoslovakia, the disgrace of politicos, as his own guilt. Since then he castigates cruelty and violence in all their manifestations. He shows us the depravity of official moral. He is ruthless to those who forgot that cupidity and thirst for power are the basics of the human’s nature. Everyone who remembers his
“The Militarism” would agree with it. “Requiem for Madonna”, one of his unforgettable works, is dedicated to Vsevolod’s mother. He never saw her alive, on the photo only. He doesn’t create the photographical image. Woman and Death behind her left shoulder are allegories, symbols. Each of his pictures’ characters may be of universal meaning, when Mechkovsky thinks about eternal human issues: death – in “Pastor”, love for Motherland – in “Requiem for Submariners”, treachery – in “Crosses”, life – in “Resistance”, fear for children – in “Homo futurus?” and “Rust”…
Being a mature artist, Mechkovsky begins to work in books’ illustration. Books of Saltykov-Schedrin, Gogol, Bulgakov, Voinovich, “Fairy Tales” are decorated by his drawings. His posters were printed in Japan, China, Singapore. The poster devoted to rescue of whales by Russian seamen was awarded at London Exhibition.
His works are full of subtle keenness of observation and inventions. He easily changes the manner of drawing depending on the task’s preference.
He has very individual drawing pattern. His talent of graphic artist and monumentalist is very well known in many areas of the former Soviet Union: in Siberia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Ukraine, Primorye, where he worked during last 35 years, decorating the interiors of many theaters, exhibition halls, hotels, shops, restaurants.
Artist Mechkovsky is the Person. Act of creation is equal for him to act of love. The Person is always in opposition to the Power. During 15 years
Mechkovsky’s works were under the tough “taboo” and were prohibited to be exposed. Inspite of this, he felt a true satisfaction of the years of titanic work. He lives in a permanent search for new images, new themes, dedicated to Russia, its present and future.
Why has he survived in Brezhnev’s era? Because he faced not only hell, but heaven also, which is creation. Years of prohibition in Brezhnev’s native city Dneprodzerzhinsk gave him an unofficial recognition as “People’s Artist of Ukraine”. Hundreds of poets, musicians, writers, students from Dneprodzerzhinsk looked for and, finally, found the “illegal” exhibitions of Vsevolod’s works.
Political situation in Russia is changing…and Mechkovsky is no more dissident, he became a famous Russian artist, well-known all over the country and abroad. His personal exhibitions attracted a lot of visitors in Japan, Australia, Italy, Germany.
Vsevolod’s drawings is a separate “page” in the history of his creation, they are pretty individual, drawing pattern is very far from traditional style. His caricatures evidently show us the character and inner life of a pictured person, but they are not the portraits. They are sketches, subtle psychological stories about his talented friends and their difficult life.
Strict and exclusive contour, very specific drawing pattern, exaggerated face’ plainness, slanting eyes of woman-artist, but…we see very energetic person with great inner strength. Much is hyperbolical and jokingly in such a portraits. Sometimes his jokes are rather harsh, when he wants – but doesn’t dare - to be a very candid.
At the same time, he is serious and smiling, wise and naughty. Master with 40 years of experience, he is sitting in front of me. He knows very well how insidious, revengeful and paltry may be the man… But he also knows another thing, which may be perceived by the true Artist only: if you are displeased with yourself – perfect yourself, if you are discontented with others – also perfect yourself. Mechkovsky’s motto “Stars are not afraid to be recognized as fireflies” became my one 22 years ago, when Master started to teach me that someones get awards, while others are worthy of them. Who is afraid to lose the life, will never enjoy it. It’s better not to dread the death, always remembering it, and not to waste your life for many trifles, but to spend your time for doing most important and essential things. My teacher is an anchoret, his wealth is always with him, in his soul. He is pure and free, independent and dependent at the same time, because he always remembers about his debt to people, about his duty to love them. There is no Person without soul. Vsevolod teaches not to follow crowd’s instincts. Thanks to him I know the normalcy of free and happy Creator is like.
Pictures of Mechkovsky are “inconvenient”. That’s why, probably, they are not exposed at many standard exhibitions. Therefore, I always look forward to see his new works.
I remember another his lesson: any criticism is good, it’s better than indifferent public. At last, the principal rule of my Teacher: rely upon the course of life and try not to resist it.
Mechkovsky is the artist-ecologist. Our joint educational program “Ecological Design” develops new methods of social ecology based on Old Russian and Oriental cultures.
Biblical theme in his creation portrays the man in two manifestations – dark and light.
Vsevolod is one of leaders, who form the modern direction of the Far Eastern creative potential. Studying his life and work, I get invaluable experience which helps me to be saved from vain meditations and tragic mistakes.

Tatiana ZHUKOVA

 
 


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