Painted Collages 2011

Never Mind The Concept – Contemporary Art Sucks!

As a refugee that emigrated from Ukrain to Belgium at the age of 25 after having been arrested numerous times for being a punker, the cultural input that Babenko Belgium has experienced can be said to be very diverse at the least. Already in the eighties he was looking for artistic freedom in times of a communist regime by fleeing from Ukrain as a 14-year old punker to an underground rock club in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

What is regarded as high art in Eastern Europe, however, is often not even considered worth looking at in the West and vice versa. Also, the chaotic, multilayered conspiracy thinking of Eastern Europe seems to be opposed to the linear and structured way of thinking in the West.

This observation has ultimately led Babenko Belgium to question what purpose art exactly serves, if any. What should an artwork have as an effect? What is the task of the artist?

By combining different things in a very impulsive and anarchistic manner Babenko Belgium achieves in his experiments the creation of all kinds of bizarre performances and spatial collages. His chaotic collages resemble virtuoso soviet rockets that come about in an intuitive way, while his chaotic performances are inspired by communist propaganda.

The bright colours reveal the psychological struggle of a stranger in a capitalist society. Babenko Belgium acts as a Russian spy to conquer and blow up the whole lot in his own selfish advantage; he is looking for the challenge. At times taking things too literally, he starts making classical stencil portraits of the great ones in a copy paste manner after the example of Lenin and Stalin.

By presenting these works together in a space Babenko Belgium creates dynamic spatial collages that refer among others to Tatlin’s Tower and evoke similar questions: So what is the “utopia” ?

Babenko Belgium is continuously working on his imagery to express his own willful anarchistic vision. Using the technique of blind drawing he achieves the loss of physical control while gaining freedom of thought. Resulting creations are humanized by integrating emotions that originate from following the image. By enlarging the sketches and transferring them onto large canvas, monumental images arise that are not only filled with the artist’s energy, but that depict the world and society as perceived by the artist himself, that tell a story and present the world from another perspective. Because art should keep society awake.

Marc Schepers & Babenko Belgium