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I often use figures of animals in my artworks. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that almost every time they get humanized - be it their look or behaviour. This is a conscious technique I use to draw the viewer’s attention to artistic, cultural, historical and social problems which one doesn’t bother to think about. Modern people’s outlook on life is similar to a bank safe, which is impossible to open without a skillful locksmith. To me, animals are those perfect locksmiths. When an animal is depicted in a painting, it captivate our attention. For example, in Velasquez’s or Van Dyck’s horse portraits, the modern viewer pays more attention to the horse, whilst in Serov’s portraits with dogs (Botkina, Usupov) - to the dog. Keeping in my mind this kind of reaction to our furry friends, I entrust them with the role of universal intermediaries between the artist and the audience, which due to their irrationality are able to act freely. So in my recent artwork “Contra”, one can see a dog on top of a table, acrobatically raising one of his legs and demonstrating an accurate way of filling glasses for banquets. One can write another text criticising the consumerist society, ironically speaking out against cliches of public behaviour, and yet not have the same effect as this mongrel who proclaims himself to be a nonconformist-bartender, protesting against hierarchies, restrictions and prejudices.

Egor Koshelev

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