Kirill Nikolaev is not a name that most
people will have heard in connection with the history of montage.
In fact, in the grand scheme of things, he is a complete unknown. I
came across his intriguing images on a ponderously slow Russian
website and was captivated by their beauty, and for that reason
alone, he is included here.
This 32 year old Muscovite is by training
and occupation a systems engineer, but his talents are certainly
many and varied. In our correspondence he has expanded on his range
of studies and interest. These include music (jazz and traditional
- he has produced a CD of ancient Russian music), dance (as a
participant and photographer), philosophy, psychology, history of
art, and of course collage.
There is something wonderfully timeless
about these images. Possibly the fact that Kirill is a part-time
"amateur" artist allows him to work outside of any prevailing
fashions. His collages look like they could have been made at any
time in the last hundred years, and yet they are somewhat
post-modern in their recognition of what has gone before. He works
from cut-up pieces of old magazines, and in some ways his technique
could be compared with some of Hannah Höch's later
Although acutely aware of this history, he
mostly cites painters as his influences: Malevitch, Kandinsky,
Miro, Ernst. At first glance it might be thought that these images
are paintings, and the appreciation of the lessons of these masters
in balancing colour and form shines through in each one. There is
exuberance here, a pure love of art, and a freedom of expression,
that is a joy to behold.
Please check out some of Kirill Nikolaev's
varied output at some of his websites
(or email him for a chat):
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