Visualization of the invisible
(Translation from Russian)
The 20th century was the century of the birth of symbols. When looking at a
swastika or a red five-pointed star, any person immediately sees and reads a
huge layer of information, which otherwise would have to be painted in several
However, of course, the symbols existed before. Suppose, crucifix, crescent or
moguendovid (Magen David). Or the arms of cities, clans and royal houses. The
only difference is that this was a rather limited set of religious and secular
symbols. The first step towards "symbolizing everything" was made by Delacroix
in 1830, symbolizing the French revolution and freedom.
The industrial revolution and advertising over the past two centuries extended
symbolism to virtually every aspect of human life. Seeing the three strips or
the stroke of the wing on the sneakers, we instantly read the inherent
characteristics and quality. Seeing the emblem on the hood, we can quite
accurately imagine the characteristics of the car. Flags, for example the USA,
are no longer so much a state attribute as a symbol, as, indeed, a dollar sign.
Working with the invisible permeates all aspects of a person's life of the 20th
century, beginning with the "subconscious" Freud and ending with quantum physics
or the structure of the atom.
In the fine arts of the 20th century, the same thing happened: the visualization
of the invisible. And searches for symbols for his image. This is especially
noticeable in posters and caricatures - the main visual directions of the 20th
century, after advertising.
And if the posters visualized some appeals, and the caricature visualized hidden
vices and thoughts, then the advertisement visualized success or prosperity.
And if the 20th century is the age of the birth of symbols, then the 21st
century is the age of symbols.
One of the modern artists, who sensitively sensed this change, is Tatyana
This is what the artist himself says: "Modern people do not want to read. They
do not have time for this. They look at the pictures in Facebook and Instagram.
Video in accelerated mode. Advertising. So often I use the same poster paints to
attract the attention of my viewer. Ironic, sometimes screaming pictures - it's
kind of a call to the human brain, the key, so that the gears start to spin. "
Let's look at her paintings in this perspective.
For example, "Journey of brain".
We see a conditional boat in the conditional endless sea and two human brains
that row in this boat.
One of the art critics referred to this picture as eclectic, albeit amusing ...
But the inexperienced ordinary people instantly considered this symbol (or
poster, or caricature). Several Bulgarian media immediately used this picture
for articles on brain drain, immigrants saw themselves in this picture, and
happy married couples - their joint creation of a family.
And all these three layers, of course, are present in this picture. You just
need to have brains to see it.
The artist understands perfectly that this symbol is eternal. Therefore - this
is not a drawing, but a picture of the standard museum format. On the Internet
this, of course, is not visible, but the artist's message is important. And as
the painter experiences the artist on the walls of the museum, and the problems
of immigrants, the problem of brain drain, the question of creating a happy
family, when two people row one way, are eternal. And the artist designed these
questions in the form of a symbol, giving them a philosophical coloring, fixing
these questions, prompting the viewer to stay in these matters, to talk about
We do not perceive symbols consciously and seriously, reading them
semi-subconsciously. It seems to us that this is something quite ordinary, like
a wheel. However, it is worthwhile to think about the genius of the man who gave
us such a wonderful thing as a wheel.
Of course, not all of the artist's symbols can be equally clear or easily
readable. Just as not everyone is reading symbols of crypto-currency or flags of
states, or even symbols of international organizations. However, it's worth
trying. Mixing in the pictures laconicity of the poster, irony of caricature and
philosophy of high painting, Tatyana Sokolova visualizes a new language of 21
centuries - language of symbols.
Do not we discuss "quilted jackets" or "couch potato", do not get in touch with
the TV, after returning from work, do not sit stupidly on the couch, clicking
the channels? And are not we comfortable in this sofa tv-world? Like on "In
front of the TV (Family portrait)" - a family portrait in front of Tatyana
But not always the character is read so easily and simply. However, few of us
really thought about the meaning of such symbols as a crucifix or a six-pointed
star (Magen David). And we do not actually reflect a much more simple symbolism
of national flags or trademarks. But in vain.
Living in the era of symbols, it would be nice to understand what these symbols
mean and what is the meaning, what are the meanings behind them.
Symbolic painting is deceptively easy to understand. Take, for example, the Way
picture of the artist Tatyana Sokolova.
What do we see here?
The Crucifixion? A road with a crossroads? Choosing a path? The cross that a
woman has to bear all her life in the patriarchal world? Or maybe all this at
And this is the power of the symbol. It is imprinted like a brand, and our brain
continues to analyze it for a long time after we left the museum hall.
Or look at another picture. It seems to be primitive and simple. On the image of
the shoes ("Shark-shoe").
Like, well, what's wrong with that? Where much more primitive? But this is only
at first glance.
Men hardly guess, but women know clearly to the pain that beautiful shoes are
sometimes felt by their feet like prison pads, like shoes of Chinese princesses
However, men also easily believe in this symbol of "shark" requests of some
Of course, in this picture, the share of irony is somewhat greater than the
share of philosophical reasoning, which, however, does not detract from its
But another symbolic picture of Tatyana Sokolova is far from any irony. It is
gloomy, like the entire 20th century.
The picture is called "The premonition of Munch (Portrait of the XX century)" -
Premonition of Edward Munch or Portrait of the 20th Century.
The painting depicts a figure from the canvas "Scream" ("Skrik") by Edward Munch,
written at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. And although Munch himself
interpreted his canvas differently, the artist Tatyana Sokolova saw and depicted
a figure that itself became a symbol of the 20th century against the background
of another symbol - the gate of the concentration camp, the death camp of
Auschwitz. The combination of horror on the character's face with a picture of
Munch and the symbol of genocide gives a very gloomy and truthful portrait of
the 20th century.
Of course, Auschwitz was chosen only as one of the most recognizable symbols
from the series of catastrophes of the 20th century, beginning with the genocide
of Armenians by the Turks, all peoples trapped inside the USSR in the Gulag,
genocides in China, Cambodia, Rwanda, two world wars and their victims.
If we remember how the writing was born, we will notice that many letters were
originally quite visual symbols. This applies to both the familiar Latin or
Cyrillic alphabet, as well as Japanese, Chinese or Egyptian characters.
And now we read these symbols as letters or words, but not as symbolic pictures.
And the artist of the 21st century is trying to invent symbolic pictures that
are understandable for all artistic language. Symbolic Esperanto of the 21st
century. Of course, Esperanto knows not so many people in the world, Egyptian
hieroglyphs could only read scribes and clergymen ... However, we must at least
try. After all, even the ancient Egyptians tried to send their children to teach
reading and writing hieroglyphs, understanding how important it is.
Modern art (namely art, not goods from a souvenir shop) is a language, and not a
delight of the eyes of noble persons and not a comic strip for parishioners on
the walls of the cathedral. Modern art is quite comparable to a fundamental
science that works with an invisible atom, viruses or equally invisible huge
black holes. Modern art works with an invisible soul, with an invisible
subconscious, so in a man that makes a person a person that distinguishes a
person from a stone or a cockroach.
And modern art is not much simpler than modern physics or philosophy. But as a
modern mobile phone or car begins with fundamental physics, and civil liberties
and rights from fundamental philosophy, and modern man is inconceivable without
understanding contemporary art. Of course, if he wants to be a man of the 21st
century, and not be stuck in his development at the level of the Middle Ages and
журнал "Cosmo lady", июнь 2018г.