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Petr Belenok was a sculptor by education, began to engage in painting in the late 60's, around the same time, when he moved from Kiev to Moscow. He often took part in group exhibitions of Moscow's unofficial art in the 70’s-80's. The first and only personal exhibition of the artist in the Soviet Union was held in 1972 in the legendary Moscow youth jazz cafe "Blue Bird". In parallel, Belenok continued to work as a sculptor and worked on official state orders.

The artist ironically called his original image system as "panic realism", combining abstract expressionism and hyperrealism. The same compulsive plot passes from his one painting to another: men (women are rare) against the background of an approaching catastrophe of a planetary scale. The world of the apocalypse, surrounding people, is always abstract – swift black and white broad brushstrokes, flashes and whirlwinds that give rise to intimidating "invasions." But the people are always realistic: Belenok found heroes of his future catastrophes in sports magazines, cut out, pasted on the base and covered with colors. The artist interprets the behavior of people in different ways: in one picture everyone tries to escape by running away in panic or, as in the presented work from the "Village" series, they freeze in horror while the whole world explodes and is destroyed. Belenok places the three small figures on the foreground, cutting them just below the belt, and thus creates the «randomness» effect of getting them into the frame, and the visual accent goes to the background, where diagonals of the tashist hurricane are raging and the walls of the houses are collapsing. On the right you can see the contours of a human figure, which is completely covered with whitewash by the artist, – it is as if buried under ashes and debris. A blue, calm surface in the distance is contrasting what is happening.

One can also see the prediction of the Chernobyl disaster that occurred in 1986 (especially since the artist himself was born near Chernobyl in the village of Korogod), and an alarming premonition of the collapse of the USSR in Belenоk's works. Contemporaries of the artist often noted the harmony of the intense intonation of paintings and the moods that prevailed in those years. And some saw a connection with science fiction and the topic of space exploration. Leaving fear for metaphysical and abstract, Belenok enabled his paintings to remain burning and timeless. V

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