GOSHA LEVOCHKIN: OVERWORSHIPPED
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Seattle, WA - Treason Gallery is pleased to announce its May solo exhibition, Gosha Levochkin: OVERWORSHIPPED.
Gosha Levochkin, known to many simply as “Gosha,” is as unique as the worlds that he creates in his paintings. Working in the tradition of “ligne clair,” Gosha paints characters with a depth and emotional weight that emanates from their eyes. Although his paintings appear flat at first glance, stripping them of extraneous elements like shadow and hatching allow Gosha to focus on the stories that resonate with the inner child in all who come into contact with the work.
Gosha’s newest series, “OVERWORSHIPPED,” comes off as whimsical and light at first, but given a second look one discovers the insightful observations upon the paper. The work calls into question our over investment in all things unimportant and how this investment often results in a world of meaningless existence.
Using his humanoid, self-described “Russian Cowboys,” Gosha employs his figures in an array of roles that appear to be a one man variety show. The characters are trapped in a miscellany of scenes that are simultaneously constricted to clean lines yet limitless in their seemingly never-ending planes. Although heavy in subject matter, Gosha masterfully allows his viewers to discover the stories in his work with a childlike awe and wonder.
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Gosha Levochkin: Age of New Thought
Written by Howard Grandison
Lively, whimsical, liberating and amusing, are all words that someone may say when they first look at Gosha’s art and they wouldn’t be wrong. The deep reasonings for every character’s traits are a fantasy for him while he gives us just a volume in the story in his new show. It is a foray into a world that mirrors ours in many ways. It just removes the least important part, the humans.
Imagine that you are in a world inverted, where the principals are the same but the characters are different. In Gosha’s “Age of New Thought” everything lives in harmony. “Its like being in the canteen in Star Wars, before the shoot out” Gosha reflects. The beauty is every combo of organism hanging out getting wasted. The extremes of diversity far exceed just our boring obsession with skin color. He wants to us to see differences like shapes, sizes, lengths, legs, beaks and mouths as unnecessary measures of character. The emotion is always in the eyes.
In this world it is a guiding peace which grounds everything in it. That order comes from the imagination of its creator. A faceless conductor that looks over everyone as a celestial figure. This head is not always responsive. Sometimes it reflects the colors that are around him and others it floats flat and detached. Hats have always been a sign of power from Napoleon to Castro throughout human history and this deity is no different? Like most famous hats, there is a military element to it which exposes what our creator has experienced around him as a human. This worshiped figure is much like the universe that it created.
The Russian cowboys are the closest things to “human”. They live in an infinite space trying to grasp an idea of their part in it. They seem to be cognizant of the “ant farm life” that they have without letting it deter them. Their bulging eyes scan the emptiness that surrounds them. Sometimes they even peer deep into the viewer wondering who is on the other side of the double-sided mirror. Their lack of mouths don’t allow words to corrupt what they are experiencing. The hats they wear represent power. They are the heavy crown worn by the seekers of virtue. The brims hold a shadow over them and reminds them of their inferiority in their search for enlightenment.
Just as humans do, all of these characters seek out meaning and this show is a journey. The canvas is a vast open desert filled with everything beautiful and strange. The coexistence of flat and dimensional objects on this 2D plane distorts convention. Many cultures have used the desert as a place to undergo psychotherapy. We the viewer experience that in solid shapes that pop up from nowhere like visions. They are a graphic reminder that any quest comes with unfamiliarity. These Cowboys traverse the barren landscape always pushing forward and always walking left. They are on a mission to find the closest presence to their god.
Just as when traveling, the people you meet along the way may be the ultimate discovery. All of these characters looking for salvation are hopefully taking in the experience, the land, the canvas, the colors and the shapes. They are ultimately worshipping something faceless. Facial expressions give emotionality and deeper reasons, there is no deeper reason for this world than the beauty it entails.
As they search for a deeper meaning Gosha helps us look for ours and sums it up with a “who gives a shit.” Enjoy the colors, enjoy the fun, enjoy the whimsy and enjoy the vodka. If so, then maybe you are closer to God than you think.
EXPLORE THE GALLERY
Unable to come to the gallery in person? Take an inside look at the exhibition with this month's NEW interactive 3D virtual tour
GOSHA LEVOCHKIN | New York, NY
Gosha Levochkin is a New York City based artist who paints in watercolor and gouache. “Using these mediums gives me the freedom to work with mistakes. I love the transparent feel that watercolor gives me and I love the opacity that gouache provides, over all making my work look like animation.” Gosha’s work is inspired by streetscapes and creating “the world of” based on his experiences as an animator and growing up in Los Angeles and Moscow. Gosha has shown at New Image,Cave, Soze, Holdup, Mary Karnowsky Galleries and with The Audience and Giant Robot. From 2013 to 2016, Gosha was half of design collective DevnGosha with Devin Liston. Their work was based in equal parts fine art and street art and was featured in Issuu, Hi Fructose, Milk Made and many more.
Gosha has been commissioned by the following clients for both fine art and commercial pieces:Oliver Luckett, Mike epps, Skrillex, Do Art Foundation, Steve Aoki, Converse, Live Fast Magazine, Do Lab Coachella, The Participation Agency, Sour Patch Kids, Claude Von Stroke, Zebra Katz, A24 Films, Kimbra, Jenny Lewis, Netflix, Daredevil, Aids Foundation, Liam Horne.