Mikhail Gulin

Creativity of Mikhail Gulin stands out greatly from Belarusian artistic community where the majorities don't express their civil and political views. Mikhail does it with a keen sense of humor but avoids loading his works with any heavy political burden. The artist paints ironically and plays around the subject of Belarusian mentality, the cliches of perception of reality by Belarusians, their self-identification as the nation and how other people perceives Belarusians. He proposes to take a detached point of view by looking at your own fears and complexes. While analyzing Belarusian reality the artist tries to reflect upon phobias and stereotypes of the consciousness of modern people in the national context and beyond its boundaries.

Mikhail Gulin. Alien vs. Predator 

Mikhail Gulin's artworks were banned from exhibiting in Minsk several times. For example, at the Museum of Contemporary Art one of  his work hang for one day only and then was removed. He was turned down from the participation in an exhibition of emerging artists for "political" reasons. The organizing committee of the 1st Belarusian Biennale of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture rejected his artwork in September 2008. And Mikhail has the right to be ironic. He exclaims in one of his interviews - "Should not an artist bring up serious questions? Or do we all have to draw flowers, apples and teapots?"

Mikhail Gulin. Aria of Mr. X

The diptych "Aria of Mr. X" banned from the 1st Belarusian Biennale of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture (September 2008) 

Nowadays Mikhail Gulin works not only in painting but is engaged in performances as well. But in any case he prefers the former, as it gives him the fastest opportunity to communicate his ideas. Usually Mikhail works in series when there are concrete ideas and everything is thoroughly planned down to sizes of canvases. In recent years the artist has changed his plasticity. He used to paint more traditional things that could be digested by an everyman –and soon enough it became boring for him. That's when Mikhail started to work on his series called "The Evil Dead". The artist explains that he was always amused by the movie industry of cheap horror. "Violence on TV 24/7, people are already not able to recognize its boundaries. Violence became so habitual, probably more of an everyday event – more common than sex. I deliberately distanced myself from realism so the audience wouldn't throw up. I think the color of the paint alone could freak out." 

Some series of Mikhail’s paintings are almost monochrome with inclusions of few colours, which are usually the colors of Belarusian flag. Such color asceticism is used to deliver the atmosphere of a dead-end and hidden despair, which makes a human being weak-willed and inactive. But the artist doesn't leave the audience in frustration. Cheerful boldness of the artworks works like a loud and provocative burst of laughter.

Mikhail Gulin was born on April 1, 1977 in Gomel, Belarus. He graduated from an art college in 1998 and from the Belarusian Academy of Arts in 2004. Since 2002 the artist participates in national exhibitions.

Mikhail’s been a member of the Belarusian Union of Artists since 2005.

Solo exhibitions:                                        
2005 "1+1=1", Museum of Contemporary Art. Minsk, Belarus
2006 "Happyend┼Í", Art Gallery "S ART". Moscow,Russia
2008 Project "K-R-R". Art Gallery "ZOYA". Warsaw, Poland

Group exhibitions:
2002 "Labyrinth of Love", "Zilbel" Gallery. Minsk, Belarus
2003 "Movies for Chosen", the Museum of the Belarusian Academy of Art, Minsk, Belarus
2004 Exhibition of Young Artists "Journey", the Palace of Arts. Minsk, Belarus
2006 Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Greven, Germany
2006 Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, "Pommernhus" Gallery, Greifswald, Germany
2006 International Plein-air "Gardens", Jaszkowa Dolna, Poland
2007 Festival of Avant-Garde Art "Mammoth", Minsk, Belarus            
2008 International Plein-air "Sceneries of Eastern Poland". Mielnik Bialowieza, Poland

Also see on our website: the installation project "K-R-R" by Mikhail Gulin and Antonina Slobodchikova.

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