Born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia in 1977.
Edgar is an artist working at the intersection of abstraction and surrealism, which is true not only in relation to his style of painting, but also relates to the topic of his research. Being passionate about painting since early years he successfully graduated from the local art college with Art Teacher diploma in 1998. Edgar then pursued further artistic education in renown Repina Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg which he got his Masters degree out of in 2007. Least to say those institutions are considered very conservative and traditionalistic even now. This in a way created a “necessary” struggle to determine Edgar’s artistic pathway – quite dark and obscure – as an opposition act to what he was told art’s supposed to be.
For last several years he’s been interested in consciousness, cognition, machine learning and AI. What fascinates him the most is how human’s consciousness adjusts itself during the perception of external world. There are some mechanisms of such adjustments that he’s curious about above others. For instance, one of them is categorizing the information perceived into groups or “catalogues” which are then utilized to recognize new objects. Another one is false memories and circumstances under which those are being developed. Last but not least – perception mistakes that occur during object recognition or when consciousness alters different states.
The actual moment of object recognition Edgar considers crucial in artistic act. Main creative question he is trying to answer in his works is whether we able to discover something beyond known while interpreting familiar objects or is it gonna be always trapped within predetermined catalogues of memory? For that purpose he often reproduces digital images by analogue means. This way he strives to melt several visual languages into a new one – being a metaphor to discovering the unknown.
The series was an experiment to work with a personal history. I collected certain memorable events from my life, mainly from my childhood. These events made a special impression on me. Each of them marks a change in my perception of the world and myself. Frankly, I expected that the process of creating this series will produce a special effect on me, but I could not foresee the nature of its action. The paintings were part of a bridge thrown into the past. The bridge consists of two supports. Events and his image in the picture. These mirrored elements created a bond that helped me release energy. Energy closed in past events. Thus, the tension that was encapsulated in my subconscious mind got a way out, in some cases changing not only me but also my surroundings.
Presented paintings originate from the latest series of my works where I continue to address concepts of object perception, archetype reproducing in cognition and “the observer effect”. The focal element of these paintings is human’s face diffusing into abstract geometrical forms. Face as a concept is to be interpreted as a symbol of cognition and “the observer” mentioned above. What I mean here is the process of self-identification doesn’t work through looking at oneself in the mirror. It works through perception of non-self which is from “observer effect” standpoint should be differentiated from self. And this image of non-self being reproduced multiple times through different angles and perspectives repeats itself but at the same time changes. This duality allows the image to be recognized fuller and creates some sort of memory dimension. Deepening those dimensions through perspective gives one an opportunity to learn so much more about the actual observer state. Previously I used to study those phenomena by working with Rorschach approach – using abstract forms to crystallize images lying within my own consciousness. I challenged the paradigm of interpretation relying solely on this pre-existing database. I was interested to achieve an entity that wasn’t yet present in my mind. To reflect this adjustment concept, I now use cleaner and clearer forms which you can see on my paintings. But still they carry remnants of abstract noise of cataloguing/not-cataloguing process. So – final image morphs into something different but inheriting properties of the initial object.
All images © Edgar Invoker
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CURATOR | Joelcy Kay