At the Nitroglobus Gallery, explore the personal journey of an artist as he is challenged to look within himself. His images serve as a guide, marking the key moments along this fascinating trail.
Baptism is purification. The rite of splashing water on a baby’s forehead or immersing them in water symbolizes a kind of purification that is deeper than simply washing our physical bodies. It represents a cleansing of the soul, to be rid of any impurities, negativities and hostilities before admission to the church.
The latest exhibition at the Nitroglobus Gallery features the works of Mihailsk, who is exhibiting his art for the first time in SL. One of the major differences between Baptism of Fire and other exhibitions you might have seen is that the core idea of the exhibition centers around the creation of the artwork itself. I had the opportunity to talk to Mihailsk on my visit to this exhibition.
Mihailsk tells me, “Creating this exhibit was like a personal bet with myself. When I met Dido in March, she challenged me. She challenged me to take a new trip. A trip within myself. And being a traveler, I could not resist.”
And thus began Mihailsk’s Baptism of Fire – a difficult journey within himself, not knowing what he would find, perhaps a bit scared too. But nevertheless a journey that has been utterly satisfying and rewarding at the end.
The artwork Mihailsk displays at the Nitroglobus Gallery represents memories and moments from this journey, passing through fire and turmoil before emerging on the other side as a different, better person.
At the gallery, looking at the larger-than-life display, one can connect to many moments in Mihailsk’s journey. This metamorphosis that is presented in the form of images even includes some images which are representative of the artist’s past and the kind of images that he used to make before undertaking this journey.
“Before embarking on this transformation, I used to put myself in a corner of the frame”, says Mihailsk. “I used to believe we are a part of the world around us, not the main theme. But to explore the world within myself was a completely different experience for me.”
“Farm Hand” by Mihailsk is an example of the work he used to create before this transformative journey. It showcases the beauty of a farm, shrouded in mist while the farm hand (Mihailsk himself) is shifted to a corner of the frame. The transformation in Mihailsk is not just seen in the emotions and feelings in his work but also in the subjects he takes up in his art.
It is interesting to note that all the images Mihailsk has created are in black and white.
“When you strip an image of its color, image composition and lighting play a vital role in bringing the image to life”, says Mihailsk. “I wanted to take away all the things that I would generally use to make my task easier. This was a part of the personal challenge I took up and I have tried to work with as little as possible.”
“Emersion” is perhaps the most significant work in the entire exhibition as it represents the actual passage. A cleansing through fire and turmoil to reach a better place ahead. In a way, Mihailsk’s journey is not just about himself. I think it is a journey each of us undergoes at some point in life. For example, after a heart-wrenching breakup, each of us has gone through the fire at some point to be purified by it and emerged at the end of the corridor as a different, changed person.
Dido Haas, the curator and owner of the Nitroglobus Gallery, served as a huge source of support for Mihailsk throughout the process. She was crucial in providing feedback and advice during the journey and was a light for him when the night seemed dark. In some way, viewing these artworks is like studying the artistic process that often goes on behind the scenes but one we are unaware of. It is a direct glimpse into Mihailsk’s mind.
“Baptism of Fire” by Mihailsk is a truly fascinating exhibition that showcases an aspect that is not often presented for display – the journey of an artist as he explores the deepest reaches of his own mind, going through a long phase of turmoil and darkness before seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and coming out of it as a completely different person.
“And if the night catches you and love is late, the deepest darkness is before dawn…“
These words on the wall echo the theme of the exhibition perfectly. At the Nitroglobus gallery, you will be able to follow Mihailsk along his transformative journey through a set of high-quality artworks he created along the way, which will provide you with insights into the moments that shaped his transformation. A process which changed him, making him into a stronger, happier human being.
Click HERE to visit “Baptism of Fire” by Mihailsk at the Nitroglobus Gallery inworld.
Be there for the opening on Monday July 5th at 12 pm SLT!