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April 28, 2010
New York-based artist Dimitri Drjuchin, author of the Derealization art blog and member of the band Mother of Three, opened a solo exhibition of new works earlier this month at the Anno Domini Gallery in San Jose, California. The show, dubbed Cloud Empire for the billowy meteorological formations that stitch the show's works together, is hailed as "the culmination of human potential wrought from the depths of the bicameral mind."

"The Temple Of Rabbit Magick" acrylic on canvas, 30X30-inch


Along with cartoonish cumulonimbus forms, there is also a distinct affinity for rabbit-like ears throughout Drjuchin's collection in the Cloud Empire show. A trio of complimentary pieces--the light and dark balance of "The Temple Of Rabbit Magick" and "Temple Of The Rabbit God" offset by the slightly larger "The Temple Of Tam"--present the Lagomorphic appendages in looming, God-like formations that play upon the majesty and power of Egypt's ancient ruins.

Although the San Jose show is built around his painted works on canvas, the Moscow-born Drjuchin's various pursuits also inform his art posters, like this one of "Tom Selleck saving babies on the streets of New York."

"The Temple Of Tam" acrylic on canvas, 36X36-inch


Those who attended Anno Domini's annual Fresh Produce event over the winter will likely remember Drjuchin's four 12-inch square panels from that show--"Saint New Ghost" and "Saint Skull Suit" and "Saint Skin Teeth" and "Saint Four Eyes". For the most part Cloud Empire falls right in line with those pieces, landing somewhere between Christian iconography and the chaos of post-Warholian pop art. But "these are not the Icons of the Byzantine Church," the gallery assures us. Instead, "they are the new Incarnated Symbols of the Multiverse," totems that provide "a glimpse into a fractulated moment of cultural hypnagogic modality and an opportunity to alter our perspectives of reality."

The show's poster image (reproduced in the banner image at top), called "Old Octoberist," is a 30-inch square acrylic on canvas piece priced at $1000. Not a bad deal considering Drjuchin's work has all of the stylistic appeal of a Shepard Fairey print with far more originality and social credibility. "My work channels different points of reference from my Russian background, to pop culture, to comic books, to fine art, to spirituality, to the occult," Drjuchin says of his creative process. Unlike the hyper-politicized works of Fairey, Banksy and many other contemporaries, however, Drjuchin doesn't set out to make propaganda. As much as we might like a Russian immigrant artist to assail us with the heated imagery of idealistic divides, Drjuchin doesn't bite on that rusty hook. "I can't truly say that it's a commentary on anything, because I am not interested in judging anyone or any thing," he says, elaborating that his art is "more of a reflection of multiple influences that get filtered through my mind and come back out all at once on my canvas redefined to my own liking."

"Panda Tears and The Good Spirits" acrylic on canvas, 36x36-inch


Curators of the Cloud Empire show consider Drjuchin's art "a hyperdimensional machine that invokes creatures who come bounding forward with affection and recklessness." Pieces in the exhibition range from the cramped and almost hyper-paranoid "Panda Tears and The Good Spirits" to the stockier, more cartoonish pairing of "Saint Captain America" and "Saint Captain Former USSR" (the latter two being, along with "Old Octoberist," the only cloudless works in the set).

"Saint Captain America" acrylic on canvas, 20X20-inch


"I try not to take anything too seriously," Drjuchin says of his portfolio, which he considers more a consequence of child-like impulses than any deep contemplation. "Most of my ideas are on the spot and I let how I'm feeling at that moment guide me to what happens next in the piece. I think ultimately I'm just trying to entertain myself."

The exhibition, hopefully as entertaining for visitors as for the artist, opened at the start of April as part of San Jose's South First Fridays monthly art walk and will be on view through May 22nd.

SEE ALSO: www.dimitri-drjuchin.com
SEE ALSO: www.galleryAD.com

--
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.

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