Cheerful Friends / Oleg Maslov
Oleg Maslov painted a series of pictures called ‘’Cheerful Friends’’ in 2006 – 2007. ‘’Oleg Maslov is a status artist of St. Petersburg. He is famous for his radical experiments in art. In the second half of 1980-ties he was one of the ‘’new wild ones’’.
Together with Alexey Kozin he painted a blue scalp that was hammering itself into a bone a blue nail with a blue hammer. It struck even a brave viewer. In 1993 Maslov and Victor Kuznetsov shocked the public even worse than the previous time representing a series of pictures ‘’Blue Lagoon’’. A history of the New Academy at 10, Pushkinskaya St. began from that very exhibition in December, 1993. Maslov and Kuznetsov appeared as unruly photo realists presenting large scale portraits of naked Petersburg art heroes: Andrey Khlobustin, Lena Popova and Valery Katsuba on the Simeiz rocks. After creating an epochal canvas ‘’The Triumph of Homer’’ Maslov and Kuznetsov decided to work solo for some time.
Cheerful friends are summer helpmates of the artist, these are dahlias called ‘’Cheerful Guys’’ growing at his summer cottage not far from Oranienbaum in the settlement Kronshtadt colony. Maslov’s dahlia front garden at the old house is shown in all colours of elegant Petersburg painting at the ‘’World of Art’’ time. Flower and grass decoration reminds us fairy-tale scenes of classical ballets at Mariinsky theatre, Somov’s meadows and groves with shining green colours. But at the border line of this flower world one can see a blue shadow of Maslov’s jeep called ‘’Parthenon’’, that returns the flower front garden into present time of pop-art fascinating with its beauty. Nevertheless, Maslov didn’t want to focus on pop-art glossy packing or on inevitable transformation of art into customers’ goods. ‘’Cheerful Friends’’, where one wants to be lost in their thickness, lead to the roots of pop-art philosophy about life in a state of flux ‘’near the earth’’, a curator of the exhibition Ekaterina Andreyeva.