Critic. Angelica Verkeenko 2017-07-27T19:28:11+00:00
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Angelica Verkeenko is a Russian artist whose work has been shaped in many respects by the  atmosphere  and aesthetics of her native city – St. Petersburg.  The tones of the cityscape arrayed in golden spires and  cupolas, the  aging bronze sculptures and antique silver  patinas form the stratum for Ms.Verkeenko’s  images.

This world of figurative influences also informs the artist’s passion for the Art Deco  period,  a lexicon with  particular tenets that combine the straight line and sweeping gesture with florid fantasy.  It is easy to  distinguish in the artist’s work a sensibility similar to Erte,  whose personal style emerged from the visual  influences of the Russian northern capital.   Angelica Verkeenko’s work also reflects the narratives and  backdrops of the theatre,  reinforced by her formal education as a classically trained theatrical designer.

In her chosen application of fine art, which the artist refers to as color graphics,  Ms. Verkeenko creates  figurative images. The artist intentionally creates an intimate visual  world, populated with allegorical and  mythological characters, the archetypes of  multiple  cultures and epochs.  The compositions often feature  one   personage, sometimes two,  placed in a formal setting reminiscent of the  theatrical stage, a  motif  that links  her work  to the sketches found in the archives of 18th century French musical theatre.

Bringing her aesthetic notions into form, Ms. Verkeenko emphatically incises the movement   of the  character’s   pose and gesture, defining the resulting rhythm in the expression of the  full composition,  which is then  сomplimented by the application of  miniature detail.

The palette of the artist’s work is derived from the complimentary pairings of silver and gold, white and  black, and bronze and copper. Behind the luxurious and finely wrought  surfaces is the manually intensive,  detailed process which is particular to their creation:  On the primary paper layer Ms. Verkeenko fixes the  outlines of the finished image in relief.   The artist builds up the relief on top of the initial outlines by   applying   geometries of   metallic paper and foils, which she crafts unerringly, using techniques

that  were already  well   known to the icon masters of medieval Russia.  Then Ms. Verkeenko further   articulates   pattern and finish.   Working with a selection of handheld tools, the artist   shapes the  delicate sheets of   monotone and colored   foils and gold leaf to a fine level of  detail. The  layers of complimentary materials  are built up into a dazzling   representation  of the final image, highlighted by metallic and surface  paints that impart further nuance  to   the  finished creation.

Marina Dashkova, International Society of Curators Curator, The Center for Evaluation of Cultural Heritage, Northwest Region, St. Petersburg, Russia, Member of the Union of Artists