Artists’ paintings in Madisonville were a chilling obsession with the war in Ukraine | Arts

Artist Alexander Stolin nonetheless has a really sturdy Japanese European accent, though he has spent the previous 30 years dwelling on the North Shore. In 1992, when he was 29 years previous, he emigrated from Ukraine, the place he was born.

It could be simple to interpret his solo exhibition on the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery as a response to the continuing conflict in his former homeland. The black and white work are shaded, stifling and gloomy. Stolen mentioned he primarily based his present type on detective noir movies and the like. The solar by no means shines on the earth it invented. The entire ambiance is uniformly unhappy.

Stolin’s work actually replicate the helplessness and disappointment he feels as he watches occasions in Ukraine unfold on CNN.

Nevertheless it’s not that straightforward. Many of the work had been accomplished in 2020 and 2021, earlier than the conflict started. It isn’t a response to the Russian invasion, it is a pessimistic obsession.

Stolen, 59, was already carving out a spot for himself within the New Orleans artwork scene within the early 2000s. He was represented by the Julia Road Gallery and gained plenty of followers.

Then it appeared to vanish. Nothing dramatic occurred, it was simply fatherhood and his day job as a panorama artist within the movie business stored him busy – too busy for a second profession as a painter.

“It is wrapped up in the actual world,” he mentioned.


Notice the house of the atomic bomb check, on this element from Alexander Stolen’s portray “Crystal Ball: Silence”, at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 400A Julia Road

Only a query about when?

However over the previous few years, he is been again in his brushes. Center age was a time of nostalgia and analysis. It’s time to reconcile himself, the Louisiana and the Ukrainian beneath him. Stolin mentioned being Ukrainian might be sophisticated.

Stolin mentioned that his father was Jewish and his mom was Japanese Orthodox, however in the course of the Soviet period, it was not simple to specific any of the beliefs. Stolin mentioned his household suffered privations from communism, World Battle II, the Chilly Battle, after which confusion and insecurity after the autumn of the Soviet Union. He mentioned the latest Russian invasion was no shock. No surprise in any respect. Russia has been a continuing menace for years.

He mentioned that being Ukrainian means anticipating deep turmoil. Stolen mentioned he grew up with the religion: “It isn’t a query of whether or not it is only a query of when.”

And that is what Stolin’s exhibition, “The Recollections Mission” is all about. In a single portray, younger boys construct sandcastles on the seaside whereas plane carriers lie within the ocean behind them. In one other case, a household consults a crystal ball, whereas sitting underneath a board of a check home constructed to find out the power of an atomic bomb. The solar is shining in one of many panels, however the sky remains to be grey, like a swarm of silver fight drones. The one smiles seen in your entire exhibition had been on the masks of kids dressed as goblins or clowns in Stolen’s portray “Halloween”.


The one smiles in your entire gallery are on the faces of the elf/clown masks in Alexander Stolin’s Halloween portray (element).

dwell the dream

If there was any escape from this fun-free world, it is likely to be represented by the 48-star US flag within the background of Stolen’s portray of an elementary faculty class picture titled Say Cheese. Perhaps escape is the reply?

Stolen mentioned he all the time knew he had a distant household dwelling in america. After the autumn of the Berlin Wall, with communist energy waning, he seized the chance to affix them. He traveled first to San Francisco, after which virtually instantly to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the place his long-lost cousins ​​lived. His cousins ​​inspired him to remain within the space. met a girl. His American life started.

After all, Stolen mentioned, he was stuffed with anger, remorse, and disbelief concerning the conflict on the opposite aspect of the world. “I dwell and breathe,” he mentioned.

To grasp his emotions, he asks us to think about whether or not the place we grew up in is steadily being devastated earlier than our eyes. But he additionally asks us to not think about him a sufferer. Having cellphone conversations with previous associates in Ukraine who reside in shelters made him totally conscious of his security and luxury in Madisonville.


The American flag in Alexander Stolin’s portray Say Cheese (intimately) might point out the potential of escape.

“I am dwelling the dream,” he mentioned with out sarcasm.

Just a few months in the past, Stolen visited the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery to see an exhibition of an previous good friend. Ferrara requested him if he nonetheless made artwork. Certainly, Stolen mentioned, it was. However he instructed Ferrara, “It is actually darkish. I do not know who desires that.”

However Ferrara guess on it. Take a break from the festivities throughout Saturday’s White Linen Evening Occasion to go to Stolin’s bittersweet return to the high-quality arts scene and permit your self to momentarily immerse your self in the actual world.

The Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is situated at 400A Julia Road. The Recollections Mission runs till August 27. For extra info, go to the exhibition web site.


The movie “Dawn” by Alexander Stolin doesn’t look significantly sunny.

Rattling the thermometer, full pace forward of you. White Linen Evening, certainly one of New Orleans’ evenings, takes place on Saturdays. As much as 20,000 fash…

George Schmidt moved away from New Orleans two years in the past. For the tradition of the town, the information of his passing was like listening to that Pontic Lake…

Think about stuffing your pillow, chopping out a nightlight, and curling up underneath a comfy pit. That is now potential, due to ar…

A large crane appeared at Concord Circle Thursday morning to take away the beautiful black statue that after stood on the website of the previous Ro…