04.07.2019 - 10.07.2019
The first London exhibition by Dima Rebus consists mainly of new works by the artist, but also
tracks the evolution of key semantic elements in the Rebus universe, with its plot twists and central
characters: a flare pistol, butterflies, parrots, black holes. The detailed works shown here combine
the aesthetics of photorealism with elements of surrealism and use the labour-intensive technique of
water-colour, which requires special technical mastery.
Carefully constructed by the artist, the compositions combine references to popular culture, from
cult cars of the 1970s to modern Russian hip-hop, from the aesthetics of American 1990s cinema to
computer games, with deeply personal metaphysical elements, particularly in the "black holes" of
the latest series.
The special expressiveness of Rebus' work springs from boldly contrasting use of light and shade to
create an atmosphere of suspense. The planets in the pictures resemble Earth, but have a
phantasmatic luminosity, at once attractive and repelling in its coldness, that seems to screen the
familiar world from the viewer.
The artist's new works connote post-apocalyptic themes. Images of humanity are displaced by
desert landscapes, solitary beasts and abandoned buildings. Rebus develops the themes of
loneliness, isolation, apathy, which haunt modern society. But instead of the alarmist sentiments, so
often expressed in the media, we see a more philosophical, detached view. Phenomena of isolation
or extinction become natural stages in the cycle of being.