Evenings at Skaryatinsky: Andrey Bilzho September 9, 2010
His aesthetic outlook, dexterous genre-hopping, and the very measure of the make make Andrei Bilzho an ideal incarnation of the contemporary artist conceived as a man who lives in a constantly expanding world of signs, symbols, emblems, chance words and awkward images and understands that the artist must constantly strive to provide with content.
Simply living in this world is not enough. This world must be carefully and painstakingly enlivened, merrily and humanely, confidently – but without being overconfident, shrill, or hubristic – breaking down genre boundaries and boldly ignoring cultural hierarchies.
This is what Andrey Bilzho has done for many years. This is what he is doing when he draws a picture, makes an animated film, composes a text, sings his own songs, or sits at table with his numerous friends.
Few are those who succeed in begetting a folkloric hero, drawing him out, nurturing him, bringing him up, setting him off on his own. Bilzho has. That hero is an everyman named Petrovich, whose proud figure can be spotted in any crowd, undoubtedly a “hero of our time.” He lives and will live life independently, regardless of whatever happens to his author, to all of us, to Russia.
Bilzho is among those clearly aware that the most productive artistic strategy, the one that “works” best, is based on as open and tense an attitude to real life as can be. His past career as a practicing psychiatrist lends this strategy additional bright and extraordinary hues.