Sergei Belik

Retrospective Exhibit

30 years of Still Life by Sergei Belik


I always strive for my art to remain whole and changeless. During my entire artistic career, I have created still life paintings-- paintings of tranquil life that reflect my creative concepts.

The philosophical idea of Henri Bergson--his concept of a 'thing in itself'-- best describes my art. Bergson believes that "art has no other object than to set aside the symbols of practical utility, the generalities that are conventionally and socially accepted, everything in fact which masks reality from us, in order to set us face to face with reality itself." In my paintings, objects have no functional use. Instead, they remain self-defining with an independent existence in a quiet, still, and reclusive world. If these objects were created by anyone then it would have been a God who created them, providing an independent continuity stating that these objects have no past or future, only the present, an endless chain of instantaneous nows.

To compliment still life paintings, I paint landscapes, bringing about the same line of visual concepts.

In an attempt to reflect upon the substance of the objects that compose our everyday reality I extract beauty from what appears so immediate and simple at the first glance.

My world is beyond material concepts of unreasoned and chaotic things. It is spiritual and invariable. Meaning comes not from failures and trials but by close observation of what has been created by God.

Two artistic concepts are applied - constructive compositional clearness and richness of rhythmically synthesized colors. These two elements correspond to the internal structure of the painting.

In my still life paintings, bottles, pitchers, and jars are interchangeably presented by oranges, apples, and peaches. By reflecting upon a bottle or an orange I attempt to create an abstract bottle or orange that is a prototype for all such objects.

From my very early artistic steps, I started painting still lives and have devoted to this genre my entire creative energy. For many artists, still life painting is an exercise in formal training. For me it offers abstract and philosophical horizons, and as I explore these horizons I engage into an infinite artistic search.

My work has been influenced by the great masters of the Renaissance, XVII century Netherlands, Chardin. I see my art rich in the constructive clearness of the investigated subject matter that reveals the well-balanced internal harmony of the paintings. These are classical elements that I utilize so that my art can come close to art of great masters. My art is in the tradition of classical sill life but at the same time is expressed in the context of our century, with all its complexity and controversy. It enables the viewer to form harmonically and clearly one's perception of the world.

Sergei Belik