LOS ANGELES, CA.- Over the Influence
presents Secret Button, the second solo exhibition of Gosha Levochkin in Los Angeles. The exhibition is on view from 2 October to 7 November 2021.
In this new series of paintings, Levochkin continues to push his signature language of abstraction that he began developing four years ago.
The compositions and palette carry associations of constructivism, where Levochkin creates an almost an aerial map for a video game; with tubular columns and stacks, electric jolts, and bursts and splashes of water. Each painting presents a scene of an almost organized chaos: a puzzle to solve, a gear to turn, or even a Secret Button to press.
For the artist, it exemplifies all these elements as a means of self-preservation through the visual expression of his lived and subconscious experiences. Growing up during the fall of the Soviet Union, Levochkin witnessed the physical destruction of the city, architecture, and culture, experiencing firsthand the ubiquitous fear and insecurity of Moscow during this time. After relocating to the United States, the promise of the American dream was confounded by similar chaos of his early Los Angeles living: the 1992 LA Riots, followed by the Lakers championships in 2000 and 2001 that spurred mini riots resulting in overturned cars, street fires, looting, and violence. Finding himself again at the epicenter of chaos, triggered PTSD in Levochkin, who was again witnessing and feeling the same things he thought he escaped. The dreamland adventures of the night would often end in a physical embodiment of fear, anxiety, and release - with chronic bed-wetting until 14 years old.
The fleeting pleasure of subconscious release was met with a puddle in the conscious, physical world. In order to conquer the anxiety of an embarrassing sleepover with friends, plastic sheets, and the spilling over of dream to reality states, Levochkin created a safety plan with a secret button system that he would press just before that critical in-between moment. The Secret Button, became a safety net for the artist in his dream states, while video games, comic books, movies and animation encapsulated his days.
The formal elements further this push-pull dynamic; what could be water could also be electric. The two of these elements together could present certain death, but in these carefully composed matrices, the visual repetition creates some type of freedom for the artist. What Levochkin terms fluistic, a cipher for how all the characters or components exist together, inflow. They are fluid, liquid, and are happening everywhere to all of us, in our many states, an almost positive propaganda.
Much like trying to recall a dream, or explain a supernatural occurrence, Levochkins compositions leave the viewer with a better understanding after moving through and experiencing the Secret Button.