LONDON.- Phillips de Pury & Company
announced an exhibition of recent paintings by the conceptual artist, Alexander Melamid to be on view and for sale at the companys gallery in the Saatchi Gallery.
Fifteen monumental oil portraits painted from life in the Old Master style featuring iconic American Hip-Hop artists, Roman prelates and nuns and Russian oligarchs will be presented in the exhibition. This trilogy (five of each theme) will capture the commercial and cultural titans of our age in their modern vestments. Mother Superior, a monk and a judge of the Maltese Order will hang with portraits of Russian influential industrialists such as Elchin Safarov and Peter Aven next to Snoop Dog, Kanye West and 50 Cent to name a few.
Melamid is long-known for his partnership with artist Vitaly Komar with whom he founded the Soviet Realist Pop Art movement, Sots Art, which satirized 20th Century social realism in Russia. During this long-standing collaboration which lasted forty years, Komar and Melamid provoked the establishment of official Soviet art, branding themselves revolutionaries. Melamid has been living and working in the United States since 1978 where the duo, Komar and Melamid staged over 60 exhibitions. Their work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY The Museum of Modern Art, NY The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2003, the pair decided to pursue individual careers.
The genesis of the this group of paintings came shortly after the artist embarked on his solo career when he was introduced by his son Dan to some of the most celebrated characters in the Hip Hop industry including Whoo Kid and 50 Cent. Following on, the artist painted members of the clergy creating a body of work weaving icons of American popular culture with figureheads of the church and by extension American sanctimoniousness and the religious right. The portraits of the Russian oligarchs are most recent.
Working from life, Melamid has re-invigorated the genre of portrait painting with his facile and expert technique while also embarking on an important record of the worlds changing sphere of influence.
The exhibition will be held at the companys galleries at the Saatchi Gallery.