The Three Graces, 2010

There is no doubting Konstantin Antyukhin’s skill in printmaking – he has both the skill and the imagination to produce deeply original and thought-provoking miniature artworks which at the same time make the viewer marvel, and can be disturbing. His subjects run the gamut of classical, mythological and historical subjects, from Aphrodite and The Three Graces to Brunnhilda and Napoleon, often together with a modern psychological twist. He regularly includes strange half-real creatures, especially lizards and insects, to create a sinister and creepy dimension. Nor are his naked human figures conventionally beautiful, with all shapes and sizes of body represented in lifelike detail.

The journalist and broadcaster Natalia Demina has written of Antiukhin’s work, ‘Take a closer look and let your imagination go free – this is how to comprehend the mysterious world of images in the works of Konstantin Antiukhin. Through associations, hints and transformations, he reveals to us the secret of another reality, creating a universe with its own laws and its own hierarchy. Like Paracelsus, he creates a world of homunculi, cultivates them in his imagination, gives them shape and endows them with mystical meaning. Bizarre creatures penetrate our consciousness and make us think about something otherworldly, mystical, leading to reflections on beauty and its relativity. The world of these freaks is harmonious and complete; they are self-sufficient both in the artist’s fantasy and in his etchings. Sometimes it seems that ugly chimeras, strange animals and phantasmagoric creatures live their own lives, and the artist exists only to record them on paper.’