Rastvorennaya Pechal | Dissolved Sadness Moscow exhibition 10 year anniversary catalogue published


" These are diary notations of an artist living his life directly through the medium of his canvases, a process of the most painfully intense kind.
Brutal, yet divine. "
Moscow Times, December 2013.

Strong memories were awoken writing this piece to set the tone to announce this 10 year anniversary catalogue which contains a complete collection of works. The series is figurative and their creation was the result of monumental task, drawing my every ounce of strength to complete.

It all began in late 2013, when  I drove my entire studio packed in a truck to Moscow and took over a studio space at the Red October chocolate factory in the heart of Russia’s capital. The space I chose was a very difficult one; a disused basement of the historic red-brick complex that housed one of the oldest Russian confectionaries 'Red October' between 1851 and 1994. I in fact moved into building one, where it had all began for the legendary Russian brand.

Today, my old studio is surrounded by high profile architects, digital bureaus, art galleries and media companies. In stark contrast to these now refined surroundings the space at the time 10 years ago was very primal and had not been used in over 70 years and was in need of major work before I could begin setting up the vast water tanks planned for the project. My neighbours back then were few and far between with a boxing gym, a few bars and the megaclubs like Gypsy & Arma.

The previously unused basement was transformed into a fully-functional photographic studio with past art works hanging on the walls, a dressmaking studio and props for new scenes in fabrication, and hay stacks serving as my bed for the next 5 months.

wide interior view of the artists flooded underground studio in moscow collaborating with Triumph Gallery

I still firmly believe that for me at least, it was only genuine to make the works for the Russian exhibition from within Russia itself, using local materials and inspiration, and not to just ship them in from the London studio.  Triumph gallery had only hosted 2 other British artists before me for sole exhibitions, The Chapman Brothers & Damien Hirst. The idea prompted me to surrender my London studio and move to a country I had only briefly visited a few weeks earlier. This was a difficult decision as I knew it would be during the cold winter months in a derelict space without heating, toilets or even running water.

The adventure that unfolded is the lauded content of a factual novel. A story interwoven with grand pianos, field trips, studio processes mixed with the most outlandish of parties and a continual stream of random guests just popping in to witness the spectacle first hand for themselves.

artist aleander james with his underwater installation of a floating cemetery

interview view of the red october studio moscow


pages from the catalogue.. 

download the 10 year anniversary catalogue here...