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Conceptivism is an innovative approach to painting developed by artist Sergey Kir in 2016. This new art movement blends together different inspirations and techniques from art history and recent technological advancements, incorporating computer digital design techniques in the creative process. The exhibition "Unbound Perspectives" held at Agora Gallery, New York City, in 2016, can be considered the inaugural show of Conceptivism. Is in that occasion that Sergey Kir presented his achievements to an audience for the first time.
Technique and style
Conceptivism originated from Kir’s fascination for vivid colors and computer generated graphics and design techniques. Natural inspiration for the creation of the style came from the works of the artists of Fauvism, who tried to capture and paint the transformations of light in paintings (most notably Matisse). Further influence materialized from Kir’s former financial and technology education and backgrounds, which fuelled the desire to create an art style that would incorporate computer digital designs techniques and features of financial modeling into the creative process. Other influences were from the work of the artists of the Russian and Italian Futurism movements that celebrated speed, technology, modern industrial progress and which conceived, among other things, the concept of “Zaum”, and argued that art must reach outside of barriers of language. Finally, the work of American artists of Pop Art movement (most notably Roy Lichtenstein) as well as approach and ambition of Jeff Koons, influenced the meticulous approach and detailing of Conceptivism, as well as the predilection for scale and scope.
Many of the works incorporate typical setups of a financial quantitative model, with its limits and goals, paths and parameters, as well as subject representations identified, and the model is then set to run within a degree of freedom to produce visual representations. The model generates an image or components of an image through computer generated “magic”, with artist becoming the final approver of the ultimate visual form, which then can be used as a final product or as an intermediate step in creation of the final piece. Any number of model runs can be repeated until the artist is completely satisfied with the final output.
With Conceptivism, Kir attempts to incorporate a self-synthesizing impression of art. Just as Walter Gropius, the first Director of the Bauhaus, believed that mass production was reconcilable with the individual artistic spirit and developed the idea of creating a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, comprehensive artwork, in which all the arts would eventually be brought together, Kir reconciles individual creativity with digital technologies aiming to incorporate various forms of artistic expression, drama, emotional motivations and philosophical ideas in a single art piece. The idea of "Gesamtkunstwerk", when applied to modern technological and industrial state, becomes Conceptivism.
Conceptivism is intended to further the legacy of the 20th century’s Avantgarde and to open a new chapter in Western art history. Kir's disruptive techniques adds another perspective to the debate around the interaction between human activities and machine optimisation in the creative industry. Even though the process allows a certain level of freedom to the program, it is the artist that sets the framework for the computer to work and ultimately intervenes to complete the final image regaining total control over the outcome. Conceptivism celebrates both the idea, as a manifestation of the artist’s genius, and the aesthetic as a medium to engage with the viewer and connect with them on a deeper level.
The Biblical Series
One of the series realised by Kir that most of all encompassed the characteristics of Conceptivism is the "Biblical Series". The series is ongoing and comprises several abstract paintings each of them inspired by a Biblical episode which become a metaphor to reflect on our contemporary society. With this body of work, Kir aims to reinvent the way biblical wisdom is accepted nowadays and to re-introduce it in the contemporary narrative. The whole series aims to engage with the audience by provoking a deep reflection and by stimulating the viewers senses through flamboyant colours and surprising patterns. With his unique techniques, the artist is able to create fluid forms that accompany the eye of the viewer in a pleasant and reassuring exploration of the whole images. The combination of shades and shapes create a dynamic surface on the canvases that results in an enchanting optical energy. Conceptivism aims to elevate the visual art aesthetics to a much higher degree and to engage the spectator on a much deeper level by triggering many of their senses and emotions.
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