Lysakov Art Company, PO Box 1706, Pebble Beach, CA 93953 - e-mail:


The creative work of Victor Lysakov is a phenomena of modern art which is far from the trivial neo-avant-gard with its' canonical recurrence, determined by the change of hazard. Talking about the figurative world of the artist it should be said that Victor Lysakov conscientiously gives tribute to tradition, particularly to primitivists. However, in contrast to the most classical names he is far from being a naivist. His art is devoid of ideological adornment, sublime dream about ecumenical paradise and therefore about the myth of the harmony between man and nature.

On the contrary, Victor Lysakov confronts man and nature, who are the subjects of the tragic rules of the game: who is the boss. An afflicting anticipation fills his images. It can be expressed in aflame monochrome domination of a color surface absorbing (burying!) the ghosts of people and birds, features of a landscape which look like lurking beast or man ...

This fiery (intensity of color) generates a special alternative colorful harmony, in which everything is alive, and not already dead, is interdependent with volatile ties of hidden instincts and passions. "Standing still" is a plastic technique in Lysakov's compositions. The movement is close to a ritual where rhythmic waves mean more that the rat-race (alas, we have none) and a gesture can generate a sound. With Victor Lysakov, a sound is a herald of something dramatic. It is gloomy and sorrowful like the sound of reed-pipe a flute in time of full moon.

His heroes - people and beasts - with their growing loneliness, alienation and waning material outlines, are displayed as if through an out of order lens.

The details are washed away by moonlight. The landscape is becoming similar to that of the Moon and the gravitation of the Earth monolith is waning. Legs and paws are capable of sliding over the virgin soil without leaving any traces. These creatures of Lysakov, with all their aloofness in the imitation of life, literally cry about one of the main features of our life, which is the loss of mutual attraction of man, beast and Earth. The artist asserts this protest without any pomp and circumstance, so characteristic to modern fine art, theatre and literature.

Victor Lysakov wipes out all the tokens of time: an episode turns into a allegory, the essence of an event overcomes the dramatic situation snatched out of the Time context.

As all dramatic arts, Lysakov's painting is spectacular despite the absence of familiar contours without which a procession, a carnival, a demonstration or even a strike turns only into pathetic statistics, a sort of immobile picture of current events. In his "theater" Lysakov prefers dark side-scenes to bright footlights. Here a mannequin salutes and looks with vivid eyes, trying to catch air with his widely spread fingers which substitute for his legs. A strange creature, devoid already of its face, looks into nowhere, listening to the dumbness of a copper pipe as if to a sea shell. The lovers "Melle de Sue" and Fox are petrified in embrace, a werewolf is a stranger from French folklore of the Middle Ages. A lonely donkey stops near the crucifixion cross which look like a pedestal for the body of a bearded man who decided to take off his clothes for a carnival, and to try on the cross without assuming that he has to bear it forever.
Victor Lysakov portrays two blind men plunged into easy yellow intense heat emanating from the white flaming sun. Their faces are defined by black bandages (may be stamps?). Their path is defined by the uncertainty of the poignant yellow space which has no distinction between earth and sky. This blindness, which accompanies us to some particular stages of our long journey, is represented by the artist like a tormenting mirror and a call to mercy rather than a cold statement. The blindness means the loss of aims in life, the loss of a path to a temple... or to its ruins.
Harlequin and "Medico della peste" remain on the same pedestal created by the artist's will. The lark of one of them and the face of the other reminds us of the polarity of the collection of carnival masks: here death can turn around an immaculate youngster's head and the Plague itself can become the carnival's. Queen by disguising itself either as a twin of naked flesh, touching in its puppet delusivness, or as two musicians, one tall and the other short, walking from nowhere to nowhere without becoming lost, ... as if covered by Chernobyl's dust faces. Empty eye-sockets resemble an ice-hole, pecked out by the same Medico della peste with his only surgical tool ... his huge beak.
The artist studies his "semi-illusory - semi-gloomy" (a formula of Anna Akhmatova) hero-maskers, hero-hermits unhurriedly and contemplatively. The space of the tragedy is revealed by the facets of farce, the comedy provokes trouble, the spectacular brightness makes one aloof, the picture's surface imitates the profoundity of an imaginary world.

"The Mask. Invitation to Laughter" magnetizes not less that "Tutti" with its petrified bodies of musicians "invited" to play music. Asking for response, for a reaction from the others, the personages remain as if excluded from the orhythmic context. Hence, Lysakov's constant tensions and reticence, exit into imponderability, or better still, into independence from any gravity either from the Earth or from the Moon... In a number of his new compositions the artist has brushed aside altogether the traditional figurativist's concept of up and down. The supremacists bid know this exit into space. Sometimes it was evident in Marc Chagall's works which made the Eiffel Tower dance with heavenly lovers or a bunch of field flowers.

However, the poetic source, which determined this rondelle over Paris, is alien to Victor Lysakov. His art is based on certain rationalism. He studies the reaction with the stubbornness of a chemist, experiments with live and lifeless matter admiring, in his own way, the processes of these risky transformations.

And only "The Tight rope Walker", apparently believing that he is walking on a tight rope, is walking on... vacuum. Black in black, all enveloping, ready to soak up his body, is defined with a force of a material medium. This is more that a night, this is darkness, ready to burst in all-consuming fire, this is latent fire opaque to both moonlight and sunlight, remote from everything alive, and a man as small as a match is approaching this dangerous extremity. And at this point a comparison with a fate of a contemporary man is coming into our mind, who balances above the abyss and still keeps the equilibrium. "Who keeps the world in harness in a way that a fledgling can sleep in a nest?" (Vadim Kushner).

Is it not the subject of "The Night Talk" by Lysakov?

Still, better to call it "The Night Silence"...

Silence - Talk.

The Night without a lemon slice in the silence of the skies, without a single sound of a cold magic, forgotten either in the past or in the future flute in the heavenly depth... The night passing noiselessly through the days and years. This is a typical state for the world of Victor Lysakov's images, his password in Time. The Morning will never come if a miracle does not occur, if an understanding and mercy do not cruelty and cynicism.
The Confession of the Green Cock is a predawn revelation. A high red chair-guillotine which the cold of the night landscape flows through. The coloristic minimum, so characteristic to Lysakov's paintings, reaches here its symbolic harmony. The green cock is brighter than the red chair, ready to turn into a prison tower. A man evidently is going to disappear.

Whom will the red cock confess to?

Victor Lysakov keeps on working out his personal creative style, making painful decision to commit next sacrifice, be it a rope-walker or a donkey, coming from and going into the night dream.

In Victor Lysakov's creative work the symbol of the dawn is defined vaguely like a hint on the next illusion. Vacillating illusion. Perhaps the one possessing the beauty of a mystery or a fairy-tale, may be less horrid than the previous one.

Igor Dychenko
The article is taken from the catalogue "Victor Lysakov"