TOLK Gallery is focused on “Street art of Nizhny Novgorod city” — a local art movement, developing its own unique aesthetics and strategies of work with urban environment and landscape. The artists of the Gallery work both in street art and in studio practices, such as oil painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, objects and author's books.In 2017 the Gallery presents at Cosmoscow two young artists — TOY Crew and Andrey Olenev.
TOY crew is a duet of young artists from Nizhny Novgorod created in 2012. Technically, art of the TOY crew belongs to graffiti culture. The artists always work outdoors, relay street aesthetics, sub cultural life style and act under the pseudonym, which they systematically reproduce in their works. With that, artistic strategy of the TOY crew is closely connected with practices, characteristic for actual art. Working with word formation, the TOY crew create their own unique language. Idioms, quotes from songs, separate words are modified and embedded into different, not initially characteristic for them, context. Painting, graphics and objects, created by the artists in workshops and on the street are usually based on the principal of "literal illustration". Pointedly careless, light, virtually random in their style, images are a direct visualization of popular phrases and slang expressions, which become the key to understanding their works.
Andrey Olenev (b. 1993) — an artist from Nizhny Novgorod, participant of the Muddlehood informal art association. He works in different formats and techniques (painting, pyrography, object, installation, artist's book). The artist is famous for his monumental paintings on facades of old houses in the Nizhny Novgorod historical centre, and for complex wooden objects, entirely or partially covering paintings and offering tactile interaction. Each work of Olenev is a game with a viewer's perception, in which excess visuality and masterful detailing of surrealistic themes depicted by the artist are found side by side with crossed out and unreadable texts, artificially created obstacles (doors, judas holes, mirrors) and numerous references to the art of the Middle Ages and the Northern Renaissance.