Deep Sea Divers I

The figure of a deep sea diver has emerged in Leonid Tishkov's work as early as late 1970s, when he was actively working in the field of caricature. Deep sea divers, along with aviators, seamen and representatives of other, typically modern professions, had become heroes of the Soviet pop culture since 1920s. By the 1970s, when the romantic halo around these supermen of the sea bed whiffed away, they gradually evolved into absurd and comical characters. In 1980s the deep sea divers appear in Tishkov's artwork ever more often, while their nature undergoes appreciable changes. They turn from caricature and parody characters into mythological creatures. Their world becomes ever more involved, developing its own cosmogony and history. It grows from within itself numerous contradictory stories, where layers of the Soviet adult culture or children's folklore are mixed with rudiments of classical Russian archaic stories and a science fiction of explicitly surrealist kind. The works shown at the exhibition belong to the big Deep Sea Divers cycle created in 1996-2000.

Works on papers, 120cm x 152cm

Deep Sea Divers at Krokin gallery, 2004