Nikolay Tolmachev

The delicate watercolors of Nikolay Tolmachev are playful, irreverent, and surreal. Taking themes from mythology such as Leda and the swan, as well as classical painting, Tolmachev creates juxtapositions that partake of the humorously absurd as well as the fragilely beautiful. He depicts limpid-eyed boys and girls with milk-white flesh, birds, angels, and flowers. With a largely pink, white, and red palette of flesh-and-blood tones, the exquisite mottling of colors which gives such a realism and also often lends a rosy flush to the subjects, has a tenderness that contrasts with the sometimes crude concepts of the images. These paintings are a bit eerie and unnerving, as well as wonderfully lovely and light. The ironic eroticism in his work seems to comment upon the lost (or perhaps never-existent) innocence of youth, the entanglements of romantic relationships, ties that bind, metamorphoses.

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