The work of Oleg Khvostov cannot be contained within the boundaries of a few projects, since his exploration of and work on images does not cease after an exhibition ends. Khvostov examines the history of art from the position of a 21st century human weighed down by a colossal volume of information. We are evolving, learning to use this mass of data on whose foundation Instagram was founded, a service that has compressed extensive messages into one frame. Khvostov does almost the same: he tweaks and reinterprets his past works into something of a symbol-image, which holds our attention and holds the space in which it is placed. It does this thanks to the active color, the concretely lined compositions, the increased scale of certain elements, and content that is delicately nestled in form. When contemplating Khvostov's paintings, one is naturally reminded of both pop art and French classicism (although it might seem that there is a huge temporal and ideological chasm between these two sources of inspiration). Yet the artist's optical filter is of a different nature than either.
Khvostov is always refining and sharpening the form into which he wraps his own impressions. In an era where concept has seized the minds of everyone involved in art, Khvostov remains true to the romantic, serious, and deep vision of painting. The pure form liberates the painting from the excessive pressure of external, distracting metaphors, opening up an uncontaminated field of emotion to the viewer.
His universal approach to detail would be impossible were it not for his system of assessment and his image-based perception of the world in general. When Khvostov says that he spends time studying "civilization" – which for him includes music, film, literature, and art, including pornography – you believe him.
In striving for the ideal, Khvostov turns to various classical genres, or rather, themes – landscape, self-portrait, still life, genre scenes, and the like. From each of these themes he removes anything extraneous, purifies it from the residue of judgments, polishes it with clean color and concrete shapes. This exhibition takes the minimum, certain examples of the artist's thematic inquiries that can be isolated from the artistic diversity. We will see a fight scene (a paraphrase of a work by Flemish painter Adriaen van Ostade), Still Life with Parrot (a remake of the work by German artist Georg Flegel (1566-1638)), the large Tuscany Landscape (landscapes are Khvostov's calling card), and the centerpiece, Self Portrait, at 160 х 120 cm. This last piece is unique in that it contains the artist's actual hair, collected over the last 20 years.