Matvey Slavin, born in 1987 in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) moved as a child with the family to Germany. As a teenager, he began to explore Hamburg with canvas and brush to get to know the city with its inhabitants and the daily lives. Scenes from the city, excerpts from everyday life and the people on the streets as actors are also today what characterize Matvey Slavin's imageuniverse.
Matvey Slavin works with drawings and paintings, which contain pieces of "the seen and the heard" - the artist's own surroundings, experienced situations and "Tischgespräche". Thus, in the pictures one can see and recognize different buildings and places such as Trianglen's Suppeterrin on Østerbro in Copenhagen and Aros Kunstmuseum in Aarhus. The actors who unfold in the works are so-called mix-personages, different types of human beings, which are not always completely defined as animals, male or female. Words, slogans or phrases are also a solid element and are often written into a kind of speech bubble.
In our times of fake news and shitstorms, loose words and phrases are an integral part of our lives, where we all, if you want, can try to find the head and tail in what has been said who said it and in which context something was said.
Distortion of context is what one as viewer meet in Matvey Slavin's works - what is the meaning of, for example, the painting with the text "Men det snakker vi ikke om/But we are not talking about it"? In the background is Berliner Reichstag to be seen and in the foreground different human figures, which in a large group seem to all the people are trying to squeeze into the physical frame of the image. The picture with the outbreak "Sei nicht so denkfaul!" seems in this context to be aimed at the viewer. As if the picture would say "Take a stand now - think about what you are standing in front of - do not be a "lazy-thinker".
The image universe is inspired by adventures, comics and sci-fi as well as satire art, for example, James Ensor, George Grosz or the gloomy and marvelous creatures of Hieronymus Bosch. Especially a hat with an eye goes / "flies" as picture element many times again. A God's Eye? Or perhaps a reference to the artist himself, who is furthermore a hat carrier and on his many walks with open senses becomes his inspiration.
The color palette, which in previous works has been dominated by orange and especially purple, has become more monochrome in the new works and each image has its own color temperature, its own color scheme.
Matvey Slavin lives and works today in Berlin and Copenhagen. He graduated from the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften in Hamburg 2011 and from Hochschule für bildende Kunst in Hamburg 2015.
Text by kunstmix, Nana Bastrup
© 2018 MATVEY SLAVIN www.matveyslavin.de kontakt [at] matveyslavin.de