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Oleg Golosiy is a legendary painter of the «New Southern Wave» of the turn of 1980-1990s, the «soul» of squat and the artists association of the same name «Paris Commune» in Kiev (1990-1994). In painting Golosiy was more of a child than a philosopher with abstruse subtexts, and this is what his painting attracts with. He painted everywhere and a lot, the works in different style, everything depended on the mood in which he was, with whom he communicated, what he read and watched. At that time, life strongly depended on literature and cinema, they were «breathing» with what was available, and this was the classics in all genres. In general, there was short of information, that is why everything was considered, studied, felt with love and seriously. Golosiy’s pathos is naive, almost touching, the images are spontaneous. Such big canvases as the «Bowman» he wrote in one breath, like a whirlwind, in a single impulse, swept by the vision.
In the subject of the painting you can read the motives of James Fenimore Cooper’s popular epic novel about the history of the colonization of North America in the XVIII century. And, perhaps, in the painting there is the same protagonist: noble Natty Bampo, «pale-faced» on the Indians’ side, seeking to prevent the death of their people under pressure of the conquerors. And although Bampo wore homemade leather clothes, Golosiy depicts him in a European dress of the XVIII century: a cylinder, a tailcoat, culettes. But behind him you can see the wigwams, the bow is stretched and aimed at the enemy, and next to him is the shadow of the faithful dog in a fighting position and, it seems, a little further — the shadow of the second one....
Cooper’s epopee had a big success in America and in Europe even during the author’s life, in the XIX century. The writer became a kind of source of a romantic attitude to life and customs of the Indians. The book of the beginning of XX century by Ernest Thompson Seton «Two Little Savages: Being the Adventures of Two Boys Who Lived as Indians and What They Learned» can be called the work on his tracks. No less popular story. And if for the USSR, Cooper was mainly motivated by the oppression of free people by the capitalists, then for the young minds, the culture of amazing wild people was still in the first place. And then Thompson comes into force: in his book, children, according to the customs of the Indians, make themselves bow and arrows, sew clothes and shoes from animal skins, learn to hunt and survive in the wild, try to make relationships with each other according to its order. They treat their work childly seriously and honestly, but, of course, they remain the same well-bred boys, dreamers and romantics. And, perhaps, the hero in the painting is one of them, and it seems suddenly, that he is so young, and his panties are short as a teenager’s ones and his clothes seem too large, and he holds the bow somewhat weakly and awkwardly.
Golosiy loved such floating, ambiguous images that fascinate, drag deeper into the painting. And it becomes no longer important, whether it is a historical scene or a funny child’s dream — in this ghostly vision there will always be a lonely hero of all time, a winner with a bow in his hands, bold and at the same time a little bewildered.V