It's Got To Be Here
2012. Soft pastel on wood. 115 x 180 cm
THE SEE is a must see for all those who have and have not yet had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with pastel drawings of Sam Kaprielov.
Kaprielov invites us all to jump in at the deep end where we are free to trawl through his uncanny universe: Child pirates struggling through shimmering seas; steps leading nowhere; peakless mountains; warheads that have failed to explode; dignitaries crossing arid, deserted landscapes; most fantastical creatures of the sea pulled out of water; terrifying hunts where, we feel, the hunter can become the hunted at any moment…
This mix of disparate elements, expected or unexpected, is always justified by a deep-seated logic of Kaprielov's secret iconography. It leaves us with the impression of witnessing another level of reality - a mysterious sequence of exchanges, the exact meaning of which, like in remembered dreams, we have difficulty to pinpoint.
A great deal of the imagery is war related, and is, perhaps, an attempt at an allegoric representation of the perpetual battle we face in our everyday lives.
Despite most of his drawings being self-contained, finite compositions, a lot can be gained by viewing them in sequence, not unlike frames of a graphic novel.
Commercial and propaganda illustration (Kaprielov was trained at a Soviet art school) is where the most sophisticated techniques of visual representation in European art have found home in the 20th century. Kaprielov displays them at their best.