ALEX BERDYSHEFF, born in 1964 in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Berdysheff’s artistic journey has taken him from the landscapes of Scotland to exhibitions in various parts of the world. With a penchant for Surrealism, Berdysheff’s work delves into the complexities and paradoxes of human nature, all while challenging the conventional boundaries of art and reality.
Berdysheff’s official foray into the world of art began in Scotland, where he participated in a post-graduate exchange program at the Glasgow School of Art, famously known as the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Building. This marked the beginning of a long and prolific artistic career that would see him explore various facets of the art world.
After honing his skills and techniques, Berdysheff went on to exhibit his work in solo and group exhibitions across Scotland. However, it was his major show hosted by the Edinburgh School of Art during the Edinburgh International Festival in 1997 that catapulted him into the spotlight. This exhibition brought his unique brand of art to a global audience and established his reputation as a significant contemporary artist.
Berdysheff’s talents did not go unnoticed, and in 2000, he received the prestigious John Murray Thomson Award for his contributions to the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition. This recognition was just the beginning of his journey as an artist. Over the years, Berdysheff’s work has been featured in exhibitions around the world, from the United States, where his art has been displayed in Florida, Arizona, and New York, to a 2022 group exhibition of surrealist artists at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art.
In the realm of art, ALEX BERDYSHEFF finds his main navigation system in Surrealism. After years of experimenting with various art forms, including collage, printmaking, and digital art, he intentionally chose Surrealism as the primary channel for his artistic expression. Surrealism, with its dreamlike and irrational imagery, provides Berdysheff with the perfect canvas to explore the complexities of human nature and the world.
A significant turning point in his artistic journey occurred when he visited Farley Farm House in East Sussex, the former residence of the photographer Lee Miller and the surrealist artist Roland Penrose. This visit solidified his commitment to the path of Surrealism and the desire to further develop his distinctive painting style.
Berdysheff’s creative process is a vibrant fusion of inspiration and intuition. He draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, including everyday life, dreams, travels, books, and more. His imagination takes these fragments of inspiration and fills in the missing details, creating a vivid and enigmatic environment on the canvas. As he begins to construct the composition, it often takes on a life of its own, directing his thoughts and demanding inspired corrections and subtle changes.
Mistakes, rather than being seen as setbacks, are integral to this creative process. They are the sparks that fuel interactions on the canvas, leading to unexpected and exciting outcomes. The initial plan, if there ever was one, is continually revised as the painting evolves, turning the artwork into a dynamic entity in itself. This fluidity in creation is a source of immense joy for Berdysheff.
In his artwork, Berdysheff combines figurative, often distorted objects with pure abstract forms and textural components. These elements coexist beyond the confines of physical or logical limits, unveiling an invisible tension and an eternal struggle within and between all forms of matter. This unique approach to art invites viewers to question the reality of the visible world, blurring the lines between the tangible and the imaginary.
One of his striking works, “Recognition System,” is an oil-on-canvas piece measuring 120x120cm and created in 2022. In this artwork, Berdysheff combines dream-like, yet recognizable figurative elements with abstract shapes. The result is a mechanical construction, symbolizing a recognition system that processes information through perception. This piece, like much of his work, challenges our understanding of the world and the human mind, inviting viewers to contemplate the intricate interplay of reality and imagination.
One of the fascinating aspects of Berdysheff’s work is his reluctance to dictate a specific interpretation. He creates visual narratives and “personages” in his art, often placing them in various settings like characters on a theater stage. However, he does not impose a rigid narrative upon his viewers. Instead, he encourages each individual to interpret the images based on their personal experiences and imagination. This open-ended approach makes every encounter with his art a unique and personal experience, as viewers delve into the enigmatic world he creates on the canvas.