by Alexandra Osadkova13 June '18
European Optimism - uplifted spirit reflection
The bright look into the dark future! Oil painting criticism
Human psychology is a very complicated system, which is largely oriented at preserving stability and safety of one’s basic attitude, self- and worldview. And our mind is ready to play the weirdest tricks on us to keep them untouched: this is where our ‘defense mechanisms,’ illusions, denials, and other psychological issues, are rooted in. Paradoxically, even such a positive, at first glance, phenomena, as ‘optimism,’ can also be the sign of the unconscious defense from the truth and dealing with some serious trauma. Accepting the fact we are not in control of many issues, or we are facing some threat, or, what’s even more difficult, we’ve made some wrong decisions, can be extremely hard.
Done in the recognizable artist’s style, defined by curved, swelling lines, intensive tints and accentuated painting surface, the work becomes even more roundish, as the number of acute angles is reduced to the minimum. The various irregular oval-shaped figures and bright colors (sunny yellow, sanguine red) make the whole composition look like a bunch of balloons - one of the symbols of childhood. One can even notice the figure at top of the oil painting, which reminds a boy wearing a cap backward. Childhood is the age of optimism - both because of the light-hearted naivety, and openness to the world. Balloons are also the embodiment of temporality and delusion, as the joy of having a balloon lasts till it bursts or deflates. Similarly, the illusion of wellness will crash into the first real troubles. And suggesting us such indirect associations, the artist questions:
Another dualistic aspect of the featured piece is the active usage of blue. On one hand, blue is the symbol of hope and serenity, on another, it is the color of depression (for instance, the common expression for the state of sadness is “to feel blue”). This ideally matches the double-edged nature of optimism - the weapon we can use to empower ourselves and motivate to move further, or to create the shield from the reality. The latter is a short-lasting privilege, as every ivory tower unavoidably gets demolished.