Walk into Van der Plas Gallery and you will have a pleasurable experience. The new show, “Orphaned Angels”, greets you with a vibrant, primitive, tribal feel by two artists – Konstantin Bokov and Ross Brodar. Konstantin Bokov, a Ukrainian artist who was expelled from Russia, uses small fanciful, whimsical narratives and landscapes painted on recycled materials, while Ross Brodar, a Long Island born and bred New Yorker, completes the space with large scale tribal figurative paintings. Both artists exude outsider rebellion , and perhaps this results into art that can make the angels in heaven weep.
Bokov, whose work occupies the rear of the gallery, revels in folkloric vibrancy. Upon closer inspection, Bokov’s canvases reveal themselves in various recycled materials, like car parts. a guitar and discarded plastics. A beautiful peacock looking onto a landscape of the Brooklyn Bridge, a nude gracing the back of a guitar, Christmas trees on old car parts are Bokov’s visions of light or vestiges of brevity in a dark and sometimes inhospitable world.
The front gallery hits you with a blast of Brodar’s primitive art creed. “The Garden of Asnovor” explores the relationship between a lost love, the grieving process and the light of an angel that Brodar reaches for, all in the setting of a garden. The opposite wall describes the relationship between a couple and their phases of love – naked, clothed, on wheels, and most definitely – colorful. One turn of the corner, and we see the faces of ourselves with a grid of eighteen paintings on discarded wood beams. These faces morph into an investigation of the masks we place in front of ourselves to navigate our world. Traveling through this mythological land of masks, love, loss, angels and demons, we cross over into the land of our own lives.
Bokov and Brodar, our “orphaned angels” guide & propel us into their world – a world of colorful dreams, and then back home again. Take a trip to Van der Plas Gallery where there are angels of art on your shoulder and on the walls.
Orphaned Angels: Bokov and Brodar
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (11:00am – 6:00pm) Mon and Tue by appt.
Van der Plas Gallery. 156 Orchard Street . NYC, NY 10002
written and photographed by: Olya Turcihin