Mythical Dreams
by Marina Korenfeld and Eli Bezimansky

Work of Eli Bezimansky ELI BEZIMANSKY was born in 1970 in the city of Moscow, an exuberant cultural center whose dazzling cosmopolitanism contributed to the formation of Eliís kaleidoscopic vision. Like the elusive essence of the ancient city, this vision often undergoes multiple metamorphoses to embrace yet another aesthetic. Always flawlessly executed, Eliís works seem to carry an impish spark of provocation, a curious amalgam of wisdom and irreverence that marks Eliís own character.

The richly nuanced emotional palette of Symbolism was a major touchstone in Eliís artistic development. Using inventive ornamentation as an aid to expressive power, Gustav Klimpt was a particular source of inspiration because he diversified the pictorial vocabulary of his era with new techniques and ideas. Inspired by Klimptís minute manipulations of texture, color, and ornament, Eli began to create miniatures whose delicately carved, stylized features trace an intricate personal journey through mythologies and cultures and the elemental verities of human existence. Eli finds the fullest expression of his artistic credo in the mystical poetics of ancient civilizations, in Babylonian mysteries and Kabbalistic numerologies, the art of alchemy engendered by Hermes Trismegistus and the austere simplicity of Zen. Because of the vertiginous ease with which Eli juggles mythologies and ideas, he can be compared to Jorge Luis Borges, the artful master of philosophical versatility, whose philosophical parables made a vivid impression on the sculptor. For example, the purple gnome perched on a spiral candleholder peers at us with an impish glare because he is the Fire Keeper Ė a sacred performer of Zoroastrian rights.

Yet the unique appeal of Eliís creations is not solely due to the abundance of erudite allusions or inventive references to other works of art. Like Jungís dream symbols that manifest the collective unconscious, Eliís sculptures are archetypal and enigmatic because they yearn to express the universal currents of the human psyche. Just as the winged Soul in Romantic poetry, many of Eliís works are creations in flight. A wizardly figure wrapped in golden robes and suspended in the air, ďThe MonitorĒ exudes a silent wonder as his destination is not only mysterious but also generally irrelevant to his gleeful flight. From the modern master Andy Golsdworthy Eli has learned the elemental purity of stone; though his sculptures are clad in a highly ornate, almost Baroque fashion reminiscent of the Commedia dellíArte, the characters he creates transcend the confines of style and epoch. Aglow with a silent wisdom, the sculptures seem to embody another source of his inspiration Ė the teachings of Carlos Castaneda, who wrote that though the world is profoundly enigmatic, its mysteries are a cause for human rapture. Subtly intriguing and exquisitely evocative, Eliís sculptures are also waiting to envelop us in the silent bliss of sheer wonder at human existence.

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