Jury Award

vladimir zuev
Russian Federation
etching / aquatint / engraving / mixed media
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Review: Akira TATEHATA (Art Critic)

Vladimir ZUEV's work “Ballet”, which combines a number of techniques, including etching, aquatint and engraving, is a robustly charming piece filled with a variety of expressive details, which are all contained within a small picture. Depending on how it is viewed, some might describe the image as grotesque; however, in this regard the distinctively humorous aesthetic and mysterious atmosphere conveyed by the printmaker is also clearly evident. The allegorical scene residing within the picture stirs the viewer's imagination.Nevertheless, “Ballet” is a work of undeniably idiosyncratic composition. The picture shows two ballerinas posing with their legs raised high into the air; however, with their costumes floating in the center of the picture like strange, segmented, circular mosaics, their bent arms and legs and wriggly fingers, and their rugged, manly faces, the initial expectation of ballet's beauty is replaced in an instant by an image of curious clownishness. What makes this work endlessly fascinating, however, is the technical fidelity employed to depict such details. This small picture is filled with tremendous enchantment, as befits a printmaker known for crafting bookplates.