Konstantin Antioukhin – The Pear (2010)

A Kievan considered by many to be the best living engraver, Antioukhin specializes in bookplates.

As with any engraver, there’s a great debt owed to Dürer. And while it’s not visible here, Antioukhin wears his influences on his sleeve borrowing Klimt’s icon-like compositions and excessively filigreed ornamentation; the latter of which are then filtered through Mœbius’ riffing on the florid superfluity of line in Ernst’s decalomania. There’s also usually some Giger thrown in as leavening.

It’s a heady mix and like Belgian beers, it’s difficult to question the excess of flavor since it serves the resulting quality. However, as with Belgian beer, I tend to prefer unapologetic directness, I don’t always want to be overwhelmed by profusion.

In this piece, the influences are still there to discover for the discerning eye; but in the unity between form and execution there’s a diminution of their obviousness. To me this suggests Antioukhin would be well served to trust his own vision instead of always announcing his footing on the shoulders of giants.

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