Arsen Savadov is a leading Ukrainian artist, whose exhibit "Gulliver’s Dream" is the first at HG Contemporary. A product of the late Soviet perestroika movement, Savadov was a pioneer of the contemporary art in the new Ukrainian state, engendering a local version of postmodernism built on the disintegrating method of Socialist Realism.
Begun in 2017, Savadov’s "Gulliver’s Dream" contemplates the consequences of his early forays into the reality of representation. Engagement and storytelling above pastiche and irony is crucial to Gulliver’s Dream, as Savadov explains: “I do not want to be ironic anymore and there is nothing revolutionary in replication and artifice for me today, I simply swim in the ocean of images important for me personally and as an artist.” The artist does not intend for his project to be a commentary of Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel, rather he establishes a connection between the 18th century travelogue ridiculing the Enlightenment, and his own symbolic reflections of our contemporary world.
A versatile artist during the course of his career, Savadov has utilized techniques of installation, performance, and photography. Gulliver’s Dream, however, consists solely of paintings: lavish, exuberant, and indicative of the artist’s rigorous training. Savadov, coming from a family of artists, is not concerned at the moment with the formal aspects of the painterly medium. “Since I was 18, I knew already that to paint well did not mean to be an artist,” tells Savadov. Instead he is concerned with the beauty and poetics of the imaginary voyage presented by the paintings.