marat paransky at color | ink studio
The Files on Gutwald Emargut
Marat Paransky curates a conceptual exhibition of work from his nom de plume Gutwald Emargut. According to Paransky, “The work in the exhibition comprises text- and symbol-based objects and images. Words and texts are pulled from the news, corporate jargon, artworld disclaimers and popular culture. Alongside new works, older works are reconfigured and the artistic choices re-evaluated, at times as commentary within the artwork itself.”
Paransky is a sculptor, painter, photographer and mixed-media artist. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1986, his family settled in Metro Detroit in 1997. “The overarching themes now are the same,” Paransky continues, “but, of course, the pandemic, insurrection and war in Ukraine has put everything in sharper focus. The humor is darker, if not more cynical, and the criticism is directed as much at the outside as the self. The project is a visual offspring from this period of decline.”
Hold my beer.
This piece is highly appropriate if you live in Michigan. Most residents have been to Canada and are familiar with the tunnel and bridges that connect the US with our international neighbor. Any time the US is in some kind of geopolitical hot water, which has been rather frequent lately. “That’s it. I’m moving to Canada!” is a common declaration. If you could merely press a button there would be a significantly smaller Michigan population.
This is as hilarious as it is true. Every artist attempting to get their work out there can plaster at least one wall of their studio with rejection letters that meet these exact criteria. Would be nice if the real letters included a similarly serene banner certain to soften the blow.
One of the challenges in viewing and interpreting conceptual work is whether the artist has any actual talent or is the work as such because they don’t? Paransky demonstrates painting skills here while intentionally depicting a basic and banal still life. The racing stripes do indeed improve the original picture.
I actually LOL’d with several pieces in this exhibition as there’s a pointed familiarity with Paransky’s harsh revelations. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have sharpened our focus but I wonder if it isn’t on what really matters rather than the previously grueling pace and avarice that permeated so many lives. I hope Marat’s incorruptible perspective doesn’t find him scribbling his final notes while bleeding out in the bathtub.
On view through April 21st at Color/Ink Studio 20919 John R Hazel Park
*images are mine
direct quote from gallery materials
**Thank you to my very patient yoga teacher Lisa Katzman for keeping me sane so I can bring you these reviews every week! Much gratitude for her continued support.
SHOWS OPEN THIS WEEKEND