Why did the famous socialist realist Heliy Korzhev begin to write mutant-turliks and paintings on biblical motifs
The work of Helium Korzhev is distinguished by a special vision, with one gesture he could express the thoughts of a whole generation. The Soviet painter was a professor, teacher, worked in a business style. He was the winner of several awards from the state.
Helium did not create solo exhibitions, refused the positioned machine, the salary of the chairman. He did not pursue either fame or financial well-being, and was closed from the world for almost his entire life, devoting all his time to drawing, choosing topics that excited his soul.
Socialist realist Heliy Korzhev
He chose ordinary people as heroes, provided that they were capable of heroism. These were people with a steel core, strong spirit, often the images were drawn large, in full growth. He did not polish life, as other socialist realists did.
Helium Korzhev. People with a steel core, strong spirit
He struggled with a lie, for this reason the truth was on the canvases, as the painter saw it.
Work with images of “Mutants”
Toward the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, Korzhev’s work changed a lot, he began to work in the direction of caricature, showing scary, funny and ugly images. He himself called the characters of Turlica, it is interesting that before that a number of realistic paintings on degradation and drunkenness were drawn. Turliks showed the time of people’s mutation, a turning point in history, they preceded the collapse of a huge country.
Painting Scramble. Georgy Korzhev
The picture “Fight” shows a person mating with a demon or his own shadow. It was created during the perestroika period and reflects his view of that period. Helium showed that the squalor of the essence of people is inevitably visible from the outside and it is impossible to hide it.
Turlik Geliya Korzheva. Soviet artist-socialist realist
He noted changes for the worse, because normal people could not find mutual understanding with the freaks. To a greater extent, the work of this series settled outside the country, for this reason there is little about them who knows. What exactly became the reason for choosing such strange images did not become known.
However, it is worth paying tribute to the philosophical view of the artist and his accurate observations. He was able to identify the problem of society, showing their shame and vile essence with the help of imagined images.
Painting by Helium Korzhev
Biblical Direction of Helium Korzhev
From images of dwarfs and freaks, Korzhev moved on to the eternal theme of the spiritual direction. His paintings also made sense, for example, reflected the fact that gradually everyone realizes the true values.
Bible paintings. Helium Korzhev
This topic was very strange for a socialist realist, but Helium was an extraordinary person, even taking a leading position, he was not a communist. He took basic plots, reproducing them in a modern vision, reflecting current vices and weaknesses. Of interest is the work “Deprived of Paradise”, many consider it the best in the cycle.
The artist’s creative career was long, at the age of 80 he created a truly worthwhile work. Apparently, he summed up the results of his life and work. This work is “Hostages (Living Barrier).” The plot brings us to the period of World War II. In the image you can see a frightening sight. Here the Nazis drove all the survivors, setting up a living screen, defending themselves against the advance of the Soviet troops. Everyone looking at the canvas will understand: most likely, ours will have to shoot our own, because this is a war.
Symbolism of Helium Korzhev
The artist put in his work a complex and deep symbolism, as well as drama. He was able to express the hopelessness and defenselessness of the state of Soviet people at the time of writing the canvas. It reflects his personal harsh writing style, without decorations, only a tough life.
The artist’s first solo exhibition took place only a few years ago, most of his paintings remained abroad, including among American collectors.