Philipp Dontsov. Red Work 502. 2004. Screen print on paper. 70×50 cm. Edition of 40
Philipp Dontsov (b.1972) is a graduate of the Mukhina Industrial Art College in Saint Petersburg and uses the materials and technologies of product design and industrial model-making in his paintings, sculptures and installations exploring the interplay of form and light. His Red Works from 2002 are a series of paintings in polymer on aluminium depicting the human body in a photographic idiom – the figures are painted in a hyper-realistic style and the glossy surface of the polymer resembles photographic emulsion. The saturated hues of blue and red are so tonally equivalent that the images seem to shift from positive to negative in changing light or to hover between the two states in a kind of supended animation – perhaps recalling a near-death experience in the artist’s youth when he ‘died’ after a choking accident and was resucitated after thirty minutes. He has gone on to produce some of the series as screen prints – a medium which heightens the images’ luminosity and aura of spirituality.