Valery Chtak on "Grey Days. Bright Dreams", an exhibition by Alexey Kallima:
“Spartakovskaya Square” isn’t a utopian vision of an ideal future. It’s not a depiction of what should be. This is a painting about what has already come to be. Of course, one could discourse about how things should be, or how it would be nice if things were this way or that. But this would be a departure from talking about the present. Quite simply, the best art depicts what is. The artist discerns this reality, and if we don’t, then we must look again, more closely. Or we should go up to the 16th floor, and
view it from above. Or focus on the details.
It’s not uncommon for art to present itself as a puzzle which, when solved, teaches us a moral lesson. Here, this isn’t the case. This is simply a painting depicting a beautiful city – it would be nice to live there. The problems that city dwellers typically face are not hidden or masked by the beauty of these works. Rather, they are turned into issues that are more easily addressed.
In their dialog with “Spartakovskaya Square”, the other works in this exhibition convey the same message. They, too, speak to us about what is. Here, the reality is more accessible, a reference to the "grey days". This is the reality we need to fend off to manifest our “bright dreams”.
Thus, regardless of definitions and a distinct frame of reference for “realism in art,” Alexey Kallima’s exhibition, “Grey Days. Bright Dreams” is, in fact, the most authentic realism.