The Smolensk artist Alex Dougan
Aleksey Dovgan is a jeweler and education, and vocation, jeweler to the meaning of this word that immediately brings to mind the Baroque era or modern, when the wizard created the design of an object and the object itself, when artistic taste was inextricably linked with the fineness and purity of manual labor. That is why products Dovgan is the only true key to understanding all the secrets of his art. The artist adheres to in his jewelry works of any familiar figurative language or characteristic ornamental motifs, he does not have and most popular forms or images. Every time under the hands of Alex, a sudden volume ratio and the plane of sharp graphic movement and color chords. The only thing that unites all this diversity – the artist's desire to find a balance between the opposites of emptiness and fullness, space in a floating form, movement and static, luster and depth. Rarely Dougan uses in jewelry easily recognizable images of animals, birds, plants. Artist by nature given an amazing talent of styling shapes, similar to how possessed by our ancestors. The ability to see in the world only what is really important, was in excess is inherent in the masters of antiquity. Lost in the Renaissance race "imitation of nature", is the art of constructive perception of shape was the ideal of modernity, which has made the podium of the African primitive "Ukiyo-e" Japanese, and the powerful energy of pre-Columbian America. Plastic and decorative searches Alexey Dovgan can be easily linked with these traditions, especially in bracelet, brooches, lockets have an acute, sometimes grotesque human figures, chimeras, dragons from China, Benin or Mesoamerica. But the similarity is deceptive, because in the associative array is messing with the sharpness and clarity of high-tech, but the rhythm is strange, "outer" rhythm. It is enough to compare some earrings by A. Robbins with their prototypes of 400 years ago. In most works generally do not look for any direct links, so unusual and harmonious silhouettes, a dynamic play of shapes, gaps, unevenness and combination of different textures. And looking at the works of Robbins involuntarily want to recall that the original ancient sense jewelry is not "embellishment" and not even the demonstration of social status, and the mystical connection between the world of humans and spirits. Almost all the products the artist is present seductive shade of mystery, echo of the original meaning, which is embedded in the ovals bracelets and rings, flying form of brooches and fibulae, pendants zoomorphic silhouettes. As ambiguous and color solutions in all compositions the artist, though his love of silver is evident. The artist masterfully combines matte, shiny and blackened metal surface, occasionally spotting his them bright lights stones, the perceived inside the plastic metal game as a live pulsating clots.
Jewelry Dovgan impersonal, that is, self-sufficient, as works of decorative art. In most cases, their form and coloration is not correlated with any style of clothing, style or textured fabrics. The relationship with the person is hiding deeper than the banal "is not going to." Looks like creating something or other decoration the artist focuses on some intuitive threads and perhaps on the feeling of rhythm, the emotional vibrations that emanates from the person. If so, then the dialogue of forms, lines, shapes in the works Robbins carries not only information about the wizard, but also about those who are close.
Range Dovgan – the jeweler is very wide and the creative energy of the master spills out to adjacent areas. So was born one of the most interesting works of the Robbins prize of the festival "Golden Phoenix" a cross between sculpture and jewellery. In this composition the artist has again found a completely original solution: figure soaring birds arise from the intricacies of the gold and silver threads – flies, as if from solidified air flows formed the very essence of flight. As in jewelry, the artist masterfully uses the shaping power of light which then compacts the shape of a bird, dematerialize her. Transition matte surfaces in lustrous, marLED made of Golden wings, almost vanishing silvery outline, a shining figure in the dense shade of Foundation to create an unusually attractive and as always with Robbins slightly mystical bird, always rising from the flames. Although the names of the prize used the word Phoenix, which was to associate the gift with the venue of the festival – Smolensk, whose emblem is according to some versions depicts the legendary bird. Job Robbins went beyond the direct analogies and associations.
It would be surprising if the full creative potential of the artist was realized in only one genre or art form. And indeed the talent of Alexey Dovgan impossible to fit in though broad, but very specific sphere of decorative art. Traditionally, graphics are up to all artists, whether full-scale sketches, fantasy sketches, or separate works, which becomes the main language of lines and white paper. In the work of Alexei, you can find all graphic genres and each of them the personality of the master is revealed vividly and unexpectedly, but perhaps the most interesting can be considered the work of Robbins in pastels and contour drawing.
More similar in its specificity to painting the pastel allows the artist to experience the poetic sadness, unclear dreams. In landscape compositions, "Summer", "evening at the Smolensk", "Dry branches", the eye of the artist snatches of ambient fragments: the wall of the house, uneven sections, weaving branches, stairs, thin bars of the fence. Everything that captures the attention, the master emphasized linear, everything else dissolves in a relaxed and elegant colors. These songs Dovgan, as in the jewelry all the time there is a second sense, slipping away from the viewer. A dream, a dream, a fantasy? The artist does not rely on solid ground "recognition", immersing the viewer into the world of associations, hunches and prochuvstvovanii. When Dougan refers to this chart with its dominant lines and planes of his compositions become almost in riddles and charades. All his temperament, the artist throws some shamanic energy on paper. The metamorphosis of "Flora", "Walks" - the element of frequent line that lives by itself. From Dovgan, of course, as the musician developed a sense of rhythm and composition. This is his graphic sheets akin to his own of metal products. In a sense, some works a kind of "theater of jewelry", for example, "Walk". Its plot seemed borrowed from the famous painters of the modern era, but take your time to find a literary basis. Nude female body against the wall of stone is a stage on which to play their mysterious role, bracelets, rings, necklaces, and even some shapes, drawings, tattoos... Sometimes the artist gives us clues. So the sheet titled "Bored of Solomon" is undoubtedly connected with some explanation of its products. Angular, sharp silhouette of a dancing woman has already appeared in his work, but here it is not ethnic, but a grotesque substrate, Solomon-the misses. The irony of some songs Dovgan read sometimes immediately, as in the leaves "Crab" and "Shrimp". First, the eye catches a very beautiful decorative surface, then begins to unravel and when, finally, there is "recognition" the audience smiling, understanding and accepting the rules of the game. It is no coincidence that one of the most fun songs Dovgan is called "playing soldiers". In these seemingly stylized children's picture the figures present the same characteristic Dovgan Baroque complexity of form, which when careful contemplation is divided into many small but significant elements. Through the underlined "childishness" colouring pages suddenly grown acts, (which are the hooves of horses!), mocking the ambiguous world.
Complex graphic compositions by Alexey Dovgan gradually prepare the viewer to an equally unexpected solutions in painting. However, where the main means of expression is color, the artist demonstrates full commitment to the tradition of impressionistic and fovista painting. Most fully it is revealed in such landscapes as "Footpath", "Dawn on the lake Warm", "Prevo". Broad, even sweeping painting, rich color, striving for the transmission of the light effects make these paintings very attractive and emotionally recognizable. Not immediately notice that the majority of landscape works Dovgan there is absolutely no impressionista design. Even in the free sketches the artist usually closes the composition, determines its geometric center, fixing the vanishing point, although it is clearly not interested in the prospect as such. Confidently and firmly, even in the most free, almost abstract sketches built the light and color of the canvas. Especially these features of the brushwork of the artist read in a series of landscapes of German cities, written will Dovgan during trips to Germany 2009-2011 Perhaps this contributed to the very architecture of the "Fachwerk" clear with black lines on a white background. Even when the field of view of the artist were not those of the supporting visual elements, they were replaced with tree trunks, the geometry of the openings and roofs, allowing close the clear design of the landscape ("Oberkochen", "Hohenlimburg", etc.). German studies written in the pasty. So that rough, uneven surface of the paintings literally vibrate when you change the luminous flux and the color flashes bright ringing chords.
However, in painting Dovgan should not look for simple answers. Almost always, the artist's canvases, there is an element of reticence, confusion and even clear compositional decisions can not hide it. The author seems to lack time and space to open a secret. He's experimenting: near gravitating to abstraction landscapes, then there is "salon", the basket of flowers ("White bouquet"), a sweet and very beautiful color painting-still life "a Good reason". But perhaps the most unexpected for the audience was the appearance of a series of "Black-and-white dreams."
Sooner or later every thinking person begins to feel an urgent need to understand and recognize as something special to feel the connection with the sole force that led him to this world – his family, his race. As corny as it may sound, but the question is: "Who am I? Where I come from. Where am I going?" the basic question the answer to which you search for your whole life. And that's when the dreams come images of old photographs, obscure vision and face...
"Black and white dreams" is a series of four works, the composition of which is based on the use of family photographs of the last century. In fact, such photos are almost in every family, that is why they are so familiar: a young couple with a child, carefully peering into the lens of a professional photographer ("Grandpa, grandma, mom"), laughing man and a middle-aged woman, caught on an Amateur camera ("Mom and dad") and a little boy is clean and elegant, with surprise, looking to where "the bird will fly" ("I"). The artist does not reproduce on canvas an enlarged picture. He poses the problem harder to pass as visions, memories or sleep. Therefore, it is a strange light, so many fleeting allusions in color and "irregularities in the composition". All this disappears in the portrait, but rather in a self-portrait of a boy. Only in this work, reality becomes a dynamic, living color, and emotions are obvious. Series "Black and white dreams", perhaps the first serious attempt of the artist to refer to the story "themed" picture, and, therefore, we can expect new and innovative solutions, so characteristic of the work of Alexey Dovgan.
Vostrikova Natalia Konstantinovna,
Deputy Director OGBUK "Smolensk state Museum-reserve" for science