Vladimir Kush is a Moscow-born, California-based Russian painter and sculptor. His surrealist paintings and sculptures impress by the deep meanings and intuitive combination of ideas, using metaphor as his main ‘raw material’. “Although his style is frequently described as surrealist, Kush himself refers to it as “metaphorical realism” and cites the early influence on his style of Salvador Dalí’s surrealist paintings as well as landscapes by the German romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich”*.
To reflect the world in the mirror of the metaphor – this is the goal of the artist. Metaphor does not only belong to linguistic communication but can also be found in our daily life. Metaphor is the means of communication that we live by. First of all, the metaphor is aimed at the viewer’s feelings and subconscious. It gives full rein to imagination, as it is the imagination that creates the connections between two seemingly different things. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge has its limitations, while imagination has no limits” ~ Albert Einstein. Metaphor leaves the mind open to grasp onto the hidden likeness of things and events. And the more distant these things are, the greater the effect. The unexpectedness of the connection and sudden insight, which takes your breath away, is the true measure of the painting’s value, according to the artist. Different from art that leaves us in speechless admiration (realism) or suggests we solve a puzzle made of symbols (abstract art), metaphorical art challenges our subconscious with the symbolism of artifacts. Any metaphor has its own story to tell. Metaphor “sees” through centuries, unveiling the images of the world and connecting notions created by civilization. At the same time, metaphor can easily reflect the complexities of our modern life, with its ambiguity and contradictions.Vladimir Kush