about Rinat Voligamsi

Canvases by Rinat Voligamsi remind of a black-and-white pictorial review and war-time sketchbooks of the Soviet period. Using the style of an archive document, the artist consummately paints impossible, absurd stories. His ironic, post-conceptualist optics demolishes ideological structures of pathos an heroism, and the status of a document confirming reality is doubted by reality itself.

Raster photographs from Soviet newspapers are used by the artist as a model on which he builds his reportage about the world around us. Mystery and truth, deception and document are inseparably fused in blind photos, and Rinat’s pictures, which imitate them, are a convincing testimony of the extraordinary. The snow that conceals the boundless Russian field and the snow of the raster are equally reliable in concealing the accuracy of the facts from the importunate witness.




Born in 1968 in Yermolaevo, a small village in the southern Urals of Russia, Rinat is interested in art and painting from a young age. After years of self-tutelage, he entered the Ufa State Technological University in the Architecture Department, in 1984. In 1988 due to conscription, he was recruited into the Russian army, interrupting his studies.

He graduated the following year, in 1989, and began exhibiting. In 1994 he was awarded the State Prize of Russia, for excellence in the Arts. He began to gain international attention in 2006 with his provocative Unofficial Album, which recounts a parallel and fictitious biography of Vladimir Lenin and his twin brother Sergei.





Alexander Evangeli
Arseny Steiner


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