Empire

Empire

The Hearts Series

72"H x 96"W

Acrylic on Canvas

Vladimir Nazarov’s HEARTS series offers a set of subtle meditations on movement, spacing, color and design. Strikingly expressive in his use of symbolism, Nazarov’s poignant, neo-pop classics challenge the viewer’s common associations and inspire new ways of looking.

In dealing with such an ancient symbol, charged with layers and layers of popular associations, Nazarov boldly ushers in a new way of looking at the heart.  As popular icon, the ubiquity of the heart shape is riddled with commercial meanings – Valentine’s Day, the saccharine emotional sale, and surely, the consumer fetish. Do we accept these meanings at face value, or let art and the inner creator take us deeper? In what ways has the commercial marketplace succeeded in monopolizing symbols such as the heart, to our cultural detriment? At what point does the symbol make servants of its human creators?

While the historical use of the heart shape sheds much light on its timeless potentiality, in Nazarov’s contemporary depiction, these bright, larger than life paintings infuse the symbol with alternative associations. Amongst a range of visual meanings, seen from various angles and sides the heart shape morphs. It could be male genitalia, or the cosmic egg. Vibrant in effect, the hearts appear to hop right off the canvas. In cases were Nazarov paints the hearts with use of color gradation, they simply radiate out from all sides.