My photographic practice is rooted in a love of travel and exploration, and my work reflects a preoccupation with form, color and the subtle juxtapositions to be found in both urban environments and natural landscapes.
EXCERPT FROM CRITIC YULIA TIKHONOVA
In each of his photographs he depicts the jarring juxtaposition of old Soviet spaces with new “capitalist” or “Western” ones. Kreiswirth witnesses an endless supply of visual ironies: a Coca-Cola kiosk announcing itself as “The Real Thing” set in front of a constructivist-style mural with the slogan “We Are Building Communism,” or a young entrepreneur selling posters of Rambo (remember Rambo?) and Latin American soap opera stars in the metro under a huge marble mural of Lenin.
The artist, who was born in Toronto, grew up in London and now lives in New York, is no stranger to the excesses of urban development but has been astonished by the grandiose and grotesque urban design of Moscow and Kiev. By including human figures in his vistas, Kreiswirth emphasizes the monumental scale of the construction swirl that has turned these cities into a patchwork mosaic of incongruous spectacle. Like Walter Benjamin who came to Moscow in December 1926 and was struck by the visual puns he spotted on the streets between old wooden dwellings and excessive, upscale homes, Kreiswirth observes the collision between contemporary bad taste and traces of the traditional past.
Kreiswirth is particularly intrigued with the hide-and-seek of edifices and their disguises, paying attention to the large polythene covers which often cover the façade of a building during construction. These enormous wraps carry an image of the prospective building underneath, concealing the temporary chaos of the construction site, but sometimes caught by the wind, they morph into unsettling, ghostly sculptures of dystopian dissonance. On a conceptual level these unintended visual effects signify the presence of an ambiguous urban veneer, the endless desire for newness at odds with a coherent connection with the past.
Yulia Tikhonova is a Russian–born, Brooklyn–based curator, received her MA in Curating from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Tikhonova is the founder of Brooklyn House of Kulture, Inc. which presents art as a form of empowerment through hands-on engagement with the creative process. Tikhonova has been collaborating with the Camera Club New York, a photo-residency program on a number of occasions, including curating exhibition In Search of Miraculous in 2007 and a recent portfolio review. She is a contributing editor to the FlashArt International, and write for Art in America and ArtAsiaPacific.
All images copyright 2007-2016 Aaron Kreiswirth