Oleksandr Balbyshev was born in 1985 in Ukraine, one of the biggest Soviet Republics. After graduating from The Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture in 2012, he was working in the sphere of architecture and design. But two years later, in connection with the revolutionary events in Ukraine, a serious financial crisis began. In 2016 Oleksandr lost his job. He decided to change activities and become an artist. Oleksandr currently lives and works in Dnipro, Ukraine.
The most important themes in Oleksandr’s art are male sexuality and sensuality. But it’s a means rather than an end in itself. Artist wants the viewer to see the realm of ideas in faces and bodies not only a realistic image of a human. He tries to combine in his paintings realities, as visions of worlds within worlds. They show us an image of ourselves and also hint that there is more to us than we know.
Another important part of Oleksandr’s art is to modify old Soviet-era portraits of Lenin. Artist finds original portraits and sculptures of Lenin made in the Soviet era on flea markets and on announcements on the Internet. He paints on top of old portraits of Lenin fragments from famous paintings or drip paint on them, cut the canvases into pieces and glue them in a chaotic manner, let them paint them for children, he paints the sculptures in funny colors and glues them with various objects. As a result of this artistic gesture, the artist erases the propaganda and ideological meanings of the image, at the same time endowing it with decorative qualities. However, with all the fun of this manipulation, the artwork acquires new meanings, an antinomical combination of play and seriousness, prompting the viewer to go beyond the accepted paradigm.
His paintings are in private collections in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, and Japan.
The artist at work