Artist and Avatar: The Eclectic Oeuvre of Ukrainian Artist John Graham
Lest there be confusion about the usage of the word “avatar” in an internet-happy era of sci-fi movies and video games, Oxford Dictionaries defines it as a Hindu term meaning “a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher; an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.” So, the characterization of the artist as an avatar functions on multiple levels. Graham was an avid student of mysticism, and, in his large body of work, manifested a host of unorthodox ideas. Among the various influences and movements associated with his work were Freudian and Jungian psychology,
Indeed, Graham’s artistic legacy is difficult to categorize and his style impossible to pin down properly. , That isn’t entirely surprising when you learn more about his personal biography. Graham, born Ivan Dambrowski in Kiev in 1886, arrived in New York in 1920 and enrolled shortly thereafter at the Art Student’s League, where notable classmates included
Today, Graham’s works are featured in the permanent collections of prominent institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Phillips Collection, among others. Allan Stone Projects will show an intriguing selection of his landscapes, erotic drawings, and oil portraits at ADAA: The Art Show 2015.
Visit Allan Stone Projects at ADAA: The Art Show 2015, Booth D29, New York, Mar. 4–8, 2015.
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