Nick Tarasov

Negative Painting

The traditional pictorial photography refers to the painting of the 19th century, to the symbolists, impressionists, pre-raphaelites, the artists who preceded the early 20th century modernist revolution. Such an upheaval of art is comparable to the digital revolution that completely transformed the art of photography a hundred years later (this is the parallel I sought to bring live in my project).

I asked myself a question: what modernist pictorial photography would look like, with the graphic, structural and abstract character of modernist art and its tendency to surreal representation, the freedom of color and shape. My photographs had to share these qualities of modernist paintings, interact to the history of both painting and photography, and unveil the technology behind them. For this purpose I decided to introduce inverted digital photos, negative images, which went from our life with the departure of the analog technology of photography. The reverse colored negative images acquire a colorful, abstract and surreal look, which interacts to the fine art of the 20th century and modernist paintings, referring at the same time to the history of photography and photographic technologies. The art of painting and photography endured long periods of feud and rivalry, same as the digital and analog photography, much later. All these technologies used together in my project will reconcile their differences, explore their combination, bringing about new artistic and visual pathways. Negative (inverted) images represented in my project as finished photographs go side by side with the allegoric positive images reflecting the creative painting process.

The project “Negative painting” brings together inverted photographs, created with modern digital technologies of various genres (portrait, landscape, still life, etc.) and positive photographs documenting the performance, during which a painting in the style of the modernist art was created.

Nick Tarasov (born 13 July 1991) is a Russian contemporary artist who works both with painting and photography in St. Petersburg. For more than 12 years he successfully studied the canons of the classical realistic school of painting and drawing first at the Novosibirsk College of Arts, then at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. During the studying Nick received the grant “Proud of Siberia” in nomination “Hope of Siberia”. Exploring the history of classical and contemporary art Nick discovers for himself the world of photography and begins to actively use this medium in his work. His photographs and paintings have been exhibited internationally in venues such as the Museum of the Academy of Arts, Blank Wall Gallery, 5&J Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and at events such as Reclaim Photography Festival 2017 and Trieste Photo Days 2017. He has been published in the book Immigration (RoHo Press, 2017), Lenscratch, Shoot Film UK, F-stop, Light Leaked, The Passporte Gallery, Don’t Take Pictures, among others. His works are in private collections in Russia, UK, China, USA.