Creator Wave Vol. 26: Victor Safonkin
Creator Wave: Humans are vessels gifted with the ability to translate cosmic energies in order to express it creatively. Every creative expression has been motivated by some kind of inner voice. Creator Wave is designed to highlight the artistic momentum exerted by the human soul. Showcasing visual art from all types of artists – from the recognized and established to the relatively obscure.
Creator Wave Vol 26: Victor Safonkin
Bio from The Parnas Gallery
Viktor Safonkin declares himself to be a surrealist. In his early youth, he became inspired by modern art that looks for deeper meanings in the automatism of images not controlled by the brain, i.e. in so-called psychic automatism, within the spheres of both subconscious and unconscious. He understood that modern art cannot only focus on the outer model, but must also turn to the so-called inner model of the human psyche, to mental conflicts based on free emotions as literally expressed by André Breton: “A piece of work may be regarded as surrealistic only to the extent that the artist strives to penetrate the whole psychophysical sphere … Freud showed what is happening in these abysmal depths: abandoned antagonisms, suppressed by emotions that may explode without limits, time means nothing, the real outer world is replaced by a mental reality which listens only to the dictates of pleasure. Automatism leads us directly there …“
Safonkin was, nevertheless, interested in the nuances of the automatism of free notions in surrealism from two perspectives: in part he understood the meaning of the symbolic automatism of Max Ernst’s notions, which emphasises a symbolic approach, for example, in frottage or random collage, and in part he thought about the values of so-called gestic rhythmic automatism as seen for example in the works of André Masson who gathers images from the hallucinogenic world of chaos. Safonkin was captivated by the schizoid dream processes of Dalí and Buñuel; however, he felt he could not fully identify with a paranoid critique of the spirit, particularly with scenes of absolute cruelty, erotic excesses and narcissism. He focused instead on the veristic concept of the imagination in a metaphysical form resulting from mythic visions.
Therefore, it is logical that Safonkin was focused partially on the level of mythic surrealism and partially on fantasy art. From the point of view of worldwide development, we can more accurately classify Safonkin’s work as close to that of the German and Austrian painters’ veristic surrealism, which focuses on relationships between human beings and nature. However, the Jugendstil style is alien to Safonkin and so he looks for inspiration elsewhere, i.e., in a visionary interpretation of nature – in the vital apotheosis of the universe. He loves the techniques of the ‘Old Masters’ and a purposeful mannerist conception of artistic genius; he longs for a mythical paradise.
If we want to speak of the sources of inspiration of Safonkin the painter, we can undoubtedly mention, in addition to Ernst Fuchs, certain influences in his paintings from the works of H.R. Giger and Beksinski. In particular, the mythological values of Arnold Böcklin were significantly important to Safonkin’s orientation. And one must mention in particular the inspiration he acquired from the works of the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum (1944). This painter took a liking to virtual landscapes depicting unidentifiable disasters and weird warriors with aviation hats, guns, etc. Let’s not forget his painting “The Forester” (1985 – 86), his cycle “Iron Law” (1983 – 84), etc. It is no wonder that Nerdrum has been creating his works since 1986 on a volcanic island.