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Kandinsky prize won by Russian artist Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt, video of menacing ceremony

Posted by artradar on December 26, 2008

Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt

Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt






Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt won Russia’s top contemporary-art award, the Kandinsky Prize, with a series of nationalist paintings “Motherland-Daughter,” winning 40,000 euros ($52,500).

The prize, in its second year and named after Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky, aims to raise the profile of new art in Russia. It is sponsored by Art Chronika Foundation, Deutsche Bank AG and the Moscow-based holding company, IFD Kapital.

Beliayev-Guintovt beat two other finalists for Best Project. Boris Orlov’s “Parade of Astral Bodies,” is an installation of flying objects that mutate into Russian Imperial eagles. Dmitri Gutov’s “Used. Bicycle,” features an old bicycle and Soviet radio welded onto a metal frame.

Alexander Yakut

Alexander Yakut

Beliayev-Guintovt was discovered and nurtured in the 1990s by Moscow artist and gallery owner, Alexander Yakut. Earlier this year, Yakut’s gallery merged with Triumph, which has since invested heavily in him, holding an exhibition of the “Motherland-Daughter” series earlier this year.

In an interview before the ceremony, Beliayev-Guintovt says he supports Eurasian movements, which calls on Russia to ally itself with Asian countries, and oppose Western ideas and influence.

Other winners at the ceremony included Diana Machulina, who won Best Young Artist for “Trud, painting,” inspired by a news photo of a 1985 Communist Party congress; she beat other finalists, Anya Zhelud, and Grigory Yushchenko.

Menace at ceremony

Bloomberg  gives an amusing if frightening account of the award ceremony replete with rivalry, jeering and right wing militant masked men.

The three young men of PG Group who won Best Media Art Project  for “Mounting Mobile Agitation” about the images in the mind of a Russian teenager, came on stage wearing ski masks, announcing themselves to be the Moscow representatives of Somali pirates.

“The future belongs to people in masks,” one member of the group said, to a stunned audience. “Your fat-cat lifestyle will soon end and then you’ll all be hung up high.”

“We’re not joking,” he added.

Silence descended on the room, followed by meek applause.

You can see for yourself by taking a look at the video clip of the masked men in action here and more coverage from Reuters Russian art prize winner heckled for nationalism.

Related topics:  art prize winners, reports from Russia, posts about Russian art, emerging artists

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