BEHIND THE BARS • Corridor
×

BEHIND THE BARS

Konstantin Benkovich presents new canvas artworks in Corridor Contemporary Gallery.
All of his works were created in Israel after Benkovich was required to remain in Israel because of COVID-19.

 

 

These series of paintings is based on the recognizable graphic design of the American flag. 

The premise is that flags can unite various social groups into a single community and separate people of different countries and states. 
Many flags become iconic, they are sung in songs of praise, preserved in museums, worshipped as relics, and sacrificed for.

Benkovich uses symbols that represent states, power and national pride in people’s minds, while the yellow duck represents him, his portrait and alter ego. While Mickey Mouse represents an anthropomorphic being, an average person; the grid structure emphasizes his unfreedom in the contemporary world.

Flag with a Duck with Khaki Stripes, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 100 cm
INQUIRE

Benkovich is an artist who follows his instincts, and is extremely sensitive when it comes to imparity or the pain of others.

 
This is reflected in his works dealing with freedom and unfreedom through the symbols and materiality of his sculptures.
The reconsidered, reinvented symbols turn into new – critical, political, desacralized ones.

The most dominant material in his works is steel bars which he cuts and welds into grids. The rebar and steel in Russia are the synonym of the unfreedom. The rebar is an absolute symbol of aggression.

Benkovich always loved the industrial style of the old soviet production plants, it is the setting where he is comfortable. He said that even as a kid he was sneaking into abandoned industrial facilities- “We had very few options of having fun back then, but one was of a particular popularity in teens of those days – sneaking into abandoned industrial facilities, production sites, wandering there for hours, sometimes risking our lives“. And today his workshop is located in a similar place – within the site of the Street Art Museum in Saint-Petersburg.

Nobody Move. Nobody Get Hurt, 2018, Painted Metal and Welding, 150 × 50 cm, 59 x 20 in, Edition 2 of 5. 

INQUIRE
Beretta, 2019, Painted Metal and Welding, 75 × 80 cm, 30 x 31 in, Edition of 5.
INQUIRE

 

Donald Duck, 2018, Metal and Welding, 40 × 38 cm, 16 x 15 in, Edition of 5.
INQUIRE

 

Five Yellow Ducks (Set), 2017, Painted Metal and Welding, 20 × 27 cm, 8 x 11 in.
INQUIRE

From a small town in Russia to international success

Artworks of Benkovich are in the permanent museum collections and in many private collections around the globe. 
In recent years, the artist’s work has mainly been dominated by major projects and museum exhibitions.

 

 

 

 

KOON’S DOG, 2016, Metal / welding 250 x 300 x 70 cm, Edition of 5

Benkovich achieved great success in 2016 with a major project, called Koons’ Dog, right in front of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.


In addition, the artist is active in various places in Europe, such as in Montenegro for projects in the cities of Kotor and Budva.


Konstantin Benkovich, together with Pussy Riot and a number of other well-known Russian artists, participated in the group exhibition “Russian Post-Soviet Actionism” at the Saatchi Art Gallery in London at the end of 2017, various public projects worldwide, exhibitions in the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (2021) and the exhibition “Millennials in Contemporary Russian Art” running today in the Russian State Museum in Saint-Petersburg.

Press:

by Alexander Borovsky

Konstantin Benkovich appears to me to be the most fitting and fit-for-success media artist of the late 2010s.

I think that Benkovich was somehow able to nurture his sense of mediality, something they do not teach at Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design or anywhere else for that matter. The artist also honed in on his own technique: thick rebar and welding. He also found his module: the relation between height and width of the matrix quadrants to the thickness of rebar. Coloring came in its due time too. The structural solutions varied as well: turning away from the grid support, gaps/ redactions in composition, etc. the artist has learned to graft several layers of mediality onto the conceptual framework of an idea.

SCREAM. Place of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge, Moscow, 2018

Alexander Borovsky
Head of the Department of the latest trends of the Russian Museum

Konstantin in his projects publicly speaks out against corruption at all levels of government. Since 2017, the yellow duck has become a real symbol of the corruption component of today’s regimes, and not only in Russia. Many of Benkovich’s works are made of rebar and represent gratings, symbolizing unjustified expectations from modern authorities, their desire to restrict freedom of people, be it a prison sentence for dissent or attempts to restrict freedom of speech and thought, because this trend is gaining momentum not only in regime states, but, as we can see, on social networks, which were created as a platform for completely free expression of opinions.