Sanya Kantarovsky does not like to hear his work discussed neatly in terms of figuration or abstraction; instead, he relates it to the graphic, calligraphic, and historic influences that guide his practice. Kantarovsky produces video installations and sculptures, though he is best known for his paintings; his signature works often have thinly applied, wiped, or scraped layers of paint, and feature narrative scenes populated by isolated, sinewy figures. Frequent themes in these works include indirect social-political commentary and a critical look at the idea of suffering artistic genius; the blank page is also a recurring motif in many works as an allegory of both creative potential and amnesia. Kantarovsky’s early memories of Moscow also figure in his works, perhaps most directly in his lattice-like structures that refer to window grates in his childhood home.
Russian, b. 1982, Moscow, Russia, based in New York, New York