Voloshyn Gallery is proud to present the solo project of a Lviv-based artist Kinder Album, entitled Not For Publication: Top Secret and Private.
In her new project, the artist creates an alternative chronicle of events. Its veracity is a puzzle the viewers are invited to probe. On entering the exhibition hall, the viewers see the list of all characters that can be recognized in the showcased drawings and sculptures, including Vladimir Nabokov, J. D. Salinger, Marilyn Monroe, Ingmar Bergman, and more. And yet, this list of clues is a partial guide that will only help to identify the celebrities. The clues inspire doubts because they aren’t comprehensive: “recognizable” characters are interspersed with those that escape identification; it cannot be verified that they are not the artist’s inventions. At the same time, the famous characters are often depicted in strange or startling situations of highly questionable veracity. These situations could have occurred in reality, but there’s seemingly no telling whether any of them are true, where the artist has heard about them, and whether she might have added some flourishes. For example, one drawing features the famous composer Shostakovich. Documentary photographs of Shostakovich in a fireman’s uniform prove that he was indeed fighting fires in Leningrad at some point. The artist offers her own interpretation of the events though, depicting the naked composer in a helmet sitting on a bench without so much as trying to put out the fire as his own piano burns. The archive of interesting but not quite credible stories created by Kinder Album appears as a handmade version of tabloids: the promise of something secret and private makes her stories interesting to the viewers.
The drawings are supplanted with a series of miniature, cup-sized sculptures. Their plots mostly concern murder or suicide of the characters depicted in the drawings in titillating contexts. Here, too, the viewers are confronted with the question of whether all the “unobvious” characters are indeed famous, and whether all of them can be recognized. The sculptural scenes get markedly neutral titles like Incident #_, so the viewers have to rely on their own wits and ingenuity to uncover the truth of what happened to the characters.
In her Not For Publication: Top Secret and Private project, Kinder Album continues her method of children’s albums. The artist imitates a childlike style by adopting various tricks and materials, including felt pens, paints and soft clay. In most works the childlike form is juxtaposed to the mature themes and plots preferred by the artist, making her instantly recognizable.
Kinder Album was born in 1982. She published her first stylized childlike works on Facebook in 2012 under the pseudonym Kinder Album. Ever since then, the artist has been widely exhibited. Kinder Album works in various media, including painting, graphic art, photography, installations, street art and video art. She was nominated for PinchukArtPrize in 2015, and won the 2nd OPEN CALL competition for young Ukrainian artists organized by Dymchuk Gallery in 2017. Her works appeared in exhibitions in London, Prague, Paris, Lublin, Copenhagen, and other cities. The artist lives and works in Lviv, Ukraine.