Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Misha Tyutyunik (Artist Spotlight)

A-C is excited to introduce you to Misha Tyutyunik, a Ukranian born contemporary painter.  Influenced by Social Realism, German Expressionism, and Japanese prints, (among others) the artist's work blends graphic, figurative painting with sweeping landscapes and nostalgic environments, that speak to the sensibilities of the human condition.  Utilizing subdued colors, intense brush strokes, and detailed patterns, Misha creates thought provoking reflections of Americana culture that challenge convention and break down 'white picket fence' mentalities.

Bogart's False Sense of Security
Misha, who moved to the United States when he was seven, took some time to give A-C greater insight into his work. Specifically we asked Misha about the problems he sees with those "white picket fence" mentalities and recent trends in Americana culture that has influenced his art.

"The 'white picket fence mentality' is this outdated sense of security and tradition that Americans seem to have, dating back to the 50's where nuclear bomb safety drills were based upon hiding under your desk in case of nuclear emergency, (as if that would keep you safe from a nuclear blast). So, the white picket fence is more of a decoration than an actual barrier, an aesthetic, a certain standard - how everyone wants a house with a white picket fence and that is the American dream.  What I am trying to say is that I enjoy that look and that feel of wholesome all American goodness - flower wallpaper, radio fliers, apple pie, broken in baseball mitts, jack russell terriers and polka dot dresses on smiling housewives (amped up on meth-amphetamines)... I think we all like this type of sensibility - it is a core, a way of life that we can all fall back on when the shit hits the fan... Unfortunately, this mentality is still deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of most Americans, and that happy-go-lucky, sepia-toned outlook just doesn't hold up in an ever changing, turbulent world that we live in today.

Good Old Mr Kent

"Americans have this isolationist viewpoint of the world where even if cataclysms and catastrophes are happening abroad, nothing ever truly touches the 'heartland' - essentially the epicenter of what is America. You would think that 9/11 and Katrina would have opened eyes but all they really did was shift the public focus to how we need to fix the outside world and all of its problems, as opposed to looking within and mending what is left of our 'white picket fence'.  I try to show this in my paintings, subtly pointing out hypocrisies, while depicting an idealized world where one would want to exist, if even for just a moment.  I paint this world, coupled with things that most would never picture happening here (even though they have happened, but we are so quick to forget and to return to our 'happily ever after').  To summarise, people need to realize that our idealistic way of life is only a fleeting memory, and while we should always have ideals and core principles to guide us, we should also accept that America and the world has changed and is changing dramatically; we should be prepared, and let go of our false securities and isolationist mentalities, where nothing can touch these 'amber waves of grain', because we are no longer 'indivisible, one nation under God', and there is no 'justice for all'.  Wake up, go outside, and take a good long look at the charred remains of your 'white picket fence'. 

 Behind the Shower Curtain

"I don't believe that there are any recent trends in Americana culture that have influenced my art, mainly because recent trends are mostly just bullshit pop culture glorifying androgyny, sex, violence/war, and branding everything from cereal to human beings.  All these trends change every five minutes, so if they have influenced me it would be as a rebellion against them, against the over-saturation of everything.  I think that is why I always go back to these core values and heartland aesthetics, because they are so contradictory to the world we live in.  Although I will say that in some instances I will depict an icon of popculture and put him/her in a yesteryear setting - traditional meets 'on the edge'/groundbreaking (as the mass media like to call it)."

-Misha Tyutyunik

Rasputin Don't Play

A BFA graduate of Pratt Institute, Misha paints, does murals, (independently, as well as through non-profit organizations such as Groundswell) and works as a graphic designer for companies such as A&E Television Networks, ENK, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Coca Cola. Since the spring of 2009, Misha and a partner have been operating a business called Collective Consciousness NYC, providing creative services, putting on exhibitions and promoting the arts.  Misha has exhibited his artwork throughout New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.  He currently lives and paints out of Brooklyn, New York. 
Breakfast of Champions

For more info on Misha Tyutyunik...

Collective Consciousness NYC:
CCNYC Murals:


*For a listing of all receptions at Chelsea NYC art galleries, click the logo below:

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