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Exhibition in Ivano-Frankivsk: Oleg Tistol

03 February 2018

On January 24 CHECH, a new art gallery in Ivano-Frankivsk, opens an exhibition of works from Zenko Foundation collection. The exhibition gathered works of well-known Ukrainian contemporary artists: Arsen Savadov, Oleksandr Roytburd, Vasyl Tsagolov, Oleg Tistol, Maryna Skugareva, Vinni Reunov, and Viktor Sidorenko.

Curator Anatoliy Zvizhynsky:

He is a well-known author of Ukrainian Money Project initiated at the time when the others didn’t even dream about it and one of the consistent evangelists of the “national” in the international art of nowadays. This can be seen even in his love for work in tandem (Volitional Verge of National Post-Eclectism with Reunov and Natsprom with Matsenko) and their ideologies. But probably the most critical aspects of the artist’s paintings are their sophisticated charm and intentional, sometimes exaggerated decorativeness, which testifies to the difference between artistic training and tasks the artist puts up to influence the audience’s mind.

Oleg Tistol, Bedouin

Oleg Tistol (from the Contemporary Art Almanac "End to End"):

As for contemporary art, or contemporary in art, or art in contemporary times, I believe that we live in real time, in the real world.  That is, we adapt. Art is the only Ukrainian product adapted for everything. It is like a Kalashnikov gun. Our art… We live mentally, and we don’t depend on the things happening in society or politics. No, I mean we are involved in that. Of course, we are involved. But this doesn’t influence the quality of our art.  

My stand is simple – I won’t go anywhere, I won’t leave my love. It’s not because I am a lunatic or a die-hard patriot. No, I was born here. This is my country. This is not Yuschenko’s, Tymoshenko’s or Yanukovych’s country. This is a country of cultured people. This is Kavaleridze’s country. This is Yablonska’s country. This is Podervyansky’s country. This is their territory, and I am arrogant enough to believe that it is mine to the same extent. Here. This is what patriotism is about. We the artists are not imitators. That’s what I said in the very beginning: we live in real settings, in real time. They can call or not call us classical artists just because from the very first steps the best museums and the best biennales have been ours. And they know us. A year ago, I had Sotheby’s experts here, in my workshop. They looked at my works, the works by Maryna Skugareva, Mykola Matsenko, and Vinni Reunov.  They have no questions. Everything is top-notch. Now I have to explain things to people here; it happens that they ask me why this is good and that is bad, how much it costs and why.  

You have to talk to yourself, find something in yourself and not demonstrate something to somebody. It’s only when you are thirty that you want to conquer and charm, I’ll show you now, all the works. If you do it when you’re fifty, it will just look ridiculous. This age is different. You already talk to God. You feel ashamed in front of Him, not the audience. You don’t need to earn grades anymore. You are a graduate, you’ve got a diploma. You love what you do; you love art. And the grading is now about how serious and how sincere it is, the evaluations are different. It is perceived differently. So I cannot talk about the audience or cooperation with the viewer. I am not interested in that.