This week I visited an exhibition of fantasy art by Igor Lazarev, at the Karo-Arts gallery here in Haifa.
Igor Lazarev is a Russian artist (born 1962) who uses classical techniques to create vivid paintings featuring themes of mythology and literary fantasy. The exhibition contained paintings based on ancient myths, works such as Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and zodiac signs. I believe this is the first time his work has been shown in Israel.
I was impressed by the combination of technical skill and oneiric imagery. Each picture tells a story of the weird and wonderful, with beautiful but strange figures in atmospheric landscapes. There seem to be many layers of symbolism and meaning to undercover, and the resulting effect is both intriguing and sometimes disquieting.
As a very verbal person, I am aware that I don't devote as much time to the visual arts as I do to literature (or music, for that matter). But when I do spend time at a gallery, I learn a lot about the art of looking. Paintings require a different approach than books, and the experience is less linear and more individual, as the eye is drawn in different directions for each viewer, and the effect varies based on the interpretation applied to the symbols. A good painting can occupy the viewer for hours, even for days (if you buy it and hang it at home), each time seeming slightly different.
I hope to visit more exhibitions and develop my appreciation of the visual arts.