Idyll Distortion | Distorted Idyll | Curators: Serge Tiroche & Liora Belford

Ilya Medvedev – Distorted Idyll

Image titleIlya Medvedev creates standard situations, banal and daily ones, which may be grasped as idyllic. But Medvedev’s idylls contain a distortion within that re-examines their nature. In this way the artist doubts common presumptions and asks political, social and personal questions. His characters direct their gaze towards us out of moments that can be perpetuated in a family photo album, and that’s where they draw their power; they look at us looking back at them, directing their view, observing. Medvedev creates in this way a mirror situation where it seems like his characters are not aware of their own condition, and thus they project on us. Who watches whom? Who criticizes whom?

Medvedev uses the banal and the daily in order to create a multi layered map of existence. Through his paintings he reveals the gap between the human perception of existence and its being, and by that conceals a different order in which the being is not the ‘what’, nor the ‘essence’ of the thing, but is solely the being of the thing. This is a separation that in principal does not have to exist; therefore, it is presented as a distortion. What causes this gap? Medvedev, in the dialogue he created between his paintings and the viewers, chooses to initialize the investigation with that closest to us of all, ourselves.

Medvedev’s artistic style purifies the situation, enables the distortion to become invisible in a way. He is influenced by children’s drawings, frescoes in the ancient synagogue of ‘Dura Europos’, encaustic icons dating from the 7th century and Coptic art. Medvedev created a technique which mixes various ideas based on art history and political philosophy – mainly one that supports all abolition of coercions or social hierarchy (Bakunin, Nietzsche, Hakim Bey) – and by that assembles a certain ideology of basic existence, which refers to evil from different points of view. He tries to transfer this ideology in his art.

Alongside large scale oil paintings the artist presents sound work in which he dubs the painting and reveals his characters’ inner worlds.

Ilya Medvedev was born in 1981, a graduate of the Midrasha (2010), byzantine painting course (iconography) at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy in Jerusalem (2007), including one semester in Athens, Greece and a drawing course in the ‘St. Petersburg’ private school in Tel-Aviv (2001). Participated in numerous group exhibitions, this is his first solo exhibition.

Ilan Yona - Idyll Distortion

Image title"Refined hyperrealism, aesthetic asceticism, Multi – progressive traveling, Interactive multi-dimensional, there is a lot to mock of " (Jean Baudrillard, America, p.48)

Ilan Yona celebrates capitalism with humor and self-awareness. His Baudrillardrian world celebrates the social-moral distortion by deconstructing the visual narrative with intelligent use of cinematic language. Yona creates ex nihilo, builds hyper-reality, flooded with overused images & cinematic cliché. His fairies are mass production pieces, and refer to the only promised fantasy they hold. His characters are an extreme replica and a by-product to Consumerism.

Ilan Yona’s work motivates itself out of a strong urge to work within the boundaries of familiar genres. By appropriating the genre and twisting its rules of action Yona creates silent sabotaging acts. He melts together the various types without considering hierarchies of cultural and commercial, personal and social, arts and crafts. Yona creates pastiche by combining techniques of animation, three dimensional pre-visualization, video and photography thus creating replica clichés of the genres he manipulates. The distance created between Yona’s work and the original source, whether iconic or taken from readymade image banks, allows him to raise discussion that exists on the axis between the biographical and the social.

Yona duplicates himself, changes roles and parts in his idyllic fantasy. He is the good, the bad & the ugly in a local suburb western, a flock of fairies, an army of laborers, a useless redneck and characters from a Japanese TV show who demonstrate the word ‘LOVE’ with their body (taken from a new video work that is in progress). Yona investigates a world where the distortion takes place as an exaggerated-hedonist-nihilist-capitalist party that lacks any moral reference, an Idyll Distortion.

Ilan Yona, born 1978, graduate of the Midrasha (2008), UCSD San Diego California (2004) and digital animation (2001). Participated in a few theme/group exhibitions. This is his third solo exhibition.

Catalogue:Distorted Idyll Catalogue.pdf


Ilya Medvedev · Ilan Yona ·

Exhibited works from the collection