Projective graphics through the eyes of an art critic

“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” — those words of Einstein might describe Yelena Bezrukova’s approach to art. She herself confesses that she has no professional training in art – she is entirely self-taught. But this has not been an obstacle to her pioneering the concept of projective graphics! 

But then the whole idea of ‘projective graphics’ is unconventional and intriguing. And Yelena’s discovery of it was equally surprising and unplanned. It started,it seemed, from idle doodling on pieces of paper, but gradually flowered into an entire independent concept of art work. 

At first, it seemed so off-the-wall and casual that it was easy to dismiss –if only because it did not fit into any customary genre of figurative arts – unrelated to any recognizable format for picture, caricature, bookplate, portrait. But as it developed, a completely new approach to art developed, now called projective graphics; while the works themselves are called graphemes (from the Greek for  “writing”). 

The paradox of projective graphics is while it has much in common with figurative art, it has its own unique nature. It has no tradition to rest upon; there are no plot or socio-generating components; nor does it rely on normal creative processes or influence of the art world. 

Everything in projective graphics rests upon sudden revelation, magical intuition, the insight of the psychologist that Yelena actually is, all guided by artistic taste. It empowers the creation of images in a spontaneous but highly concentrated way. It’s full of contradictions: concise, yet deep and aesthetically expressive! 

In working this way, Yelena Bezrukova jumped fearlessly, and maybe a little recklessly, into unknown territory. And yet she had complete confidence in her path. It  seemed entirely natural! One guesses that her professional experience as a psychologist helped – with its sharp observation, tenacity of memory, intense communication, emotional compassion and intellectual curiosity. And of course, the art world itself was not entirely strange to her. She had long had a passionate interest in classical music, needlework, and the beauty of literary expression. Yelena was also blessed with the support of her longtime friend and colleague Valentina Tikhomirova that really mattered when she was embarking on such an obscure voyage. What if it was all a fleeting delusion, lacking any serious worth? 

And yet Yelena’s lack of familiarity with the rules of figurative art was not only no hindrance but actually gave her complete freedom of self-expression. Her work was not held back by any of the tension an artist often feels in bending creativity to fit normal rules, a tension that often kills fresh ideas. Yelena is not dragged down by the complexity of searching for ways to express her message. The experienced eye of the “anatomist of human nature” effortlessly selects the right bricks for building the human image, practically assembled in her mind already, imprinted in her heart during the process of observation and learning from people, who involuntarily became the objects of art, spontaneous models for the artist. Now the matter depends on the performance. The entire creative process lasts just minutes and ends in complete closure, where there is nothing to add or take away. With the accuracy of a sniper, an image shoots out fully realized, placed on a white piece of paper perfectly fitting its size and proportions! 

During these incredibly short bursts of creation, everything is logical and precise. The ability to formulate soul vibrations – with the emotions of the models precisely captured, with exact logging  of complex  communicative interaction – cannot fail to impress! In addition, there is no distraction with efforts to create volume, three-dimensionality, light and shadow modeling. It is all about integrity of pattern, sharpness of psychoanalysis, as if the distillation of a multisession portrait! Everything comes at a high speed level, both thinking and feeling! The most significant characteristics of a person concentrated and reduced, without anything superfluous. And the lines have great beauty of lines uninterrupted, with stylistic purity specific particularly for the projective graphics. It  all seems so effortless, everything is so brilliant and fine while preserving the poetic, lyric and ironic harmony. Each grafelva has its unique accent!  

Each page has its own unique aura of associations. For example, “Curtsey” suggests the fine curve of a bow in the image of the person, contrasting the movement with the somewhat absurd silhouette of his body, enhanced by the absurdness of his silhouette. There is a fine irony in that noted by the artist. 

In general, the masterly correlation of minimalism in every drawing with the often miraculous ambiguity of the image or the situation is riveting. In “Teenager on the wave” — the vibrating energy of the lines shows the psychological ambiguity of the image: both the awkwardness of the teenager, and his dash, dynamic energy of youth and some abashment… How can one put so much into a fleeting image?! It is all lived through, suffered inside, and yet the final result is there! 

The composition “Peace” is a whole psychological drama where with the help of tiny, slightly visible strokes she captures the feeling of offence first and repentance second! In these miniatures one can combine an entire literary simile, or a dramatic essay, or a series of satirical miniatures! It opens a vast area for the imagination! It is a graphic alloy of various types of art with many stylistic overlays that can be traced! 

It is a kind of universal art where the miraculous synthesis of various graphic characteristics shows the depth of internal emotional experience by the author and expressed on paper. Each page conceals its own encrypted code, which is great fun for the viewer to solve. And that quality of grafelva entices them into the process of cooperation, the analysis of such imagery including psychological pictorial puzzles, allegories, association and symbols… Every time, there is something new, unusual, engaging in its unpredictability. Yelena Bezrukova has found a niche that is entirely new and entirely her own, free from the slavery of the commonplace. It has allowed her to break free, without “becoming someone’s thought’s slave” (Kluchevskiy) , Mariya Zhumagulova, fine art expert, member of the Union of journalists of Kazakhstan, fine art expert V. O. Kluchevskiy.

WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM  text by Maria Zhumagulova- art critic, member of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan; member of the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan