Friday, 28 August 2015

The "Gothic" works of Yakov Chernikov

The "Gothic" works of Yakov Chernikov

Dreamed up by a not so well-known Soviet artist, or rather say Architect from the 1930s to 1940s, most of his sketches compiled for generations was enough to say that he triesO to invoke a fusion of past and present aspirations, with all its features likely to describe as "intricate", if not "gothic" with all its spires featured. It may deemed as utopic, given the artist's perception of a future people aspired to see as better than those of the west, regardless of being not realised in stone or in concrete.

However, despite invoking the regime's idea on architecture and art, emphasising informalism and working-class virility, his ideas, also likely to described as unusual, are likely to be less featured if not distrusted. He was deemed amaturish by his peers if not describing his works as exaggerated or even vulgar version of earlier designs of a tsarist past; yet he continued working unharmed, with few of his designs being made. One of which is a factory tower different from his works featured in this post.

And although people may consider his works as strange, of likely to deem as part of a fantasy tale if not science fiction, in fairness, for a man born from a poor family, he afforded to study art and architecture, acquainted some artists and its schools of thought, be it constructivism or suprematism, as well as made books concerning about the craft and made a portfolio featuring his works longing for its realisation, regardless of being called "avant garde" if not "vulgar" or any other description from his fellow artist-architects.

And his name? Yakov Chernikov. 

Admittingly speaking, this person got stumbled in a page featuring his works. Quite interesting though to grab some pictures to feature in this writeup, with his designs likely to consider as "high art" in bourgeois standards. But no! That "high art" was made by a man coming from the working class as any other Soviet artist during those periods; but ironically, some of his designs reminds of Carlos A. Santos-Viola, a not so well-known architect studied under Nakpil and Luna de San Pedro, yet known for designing the temples of a well-known sect, yet remained Catholic until his death.

But come to think of this, despite its strangeness shown in his artworks, of being deemed amateurish, vulgar, exaggerated by his peers, how come his work somehow aligned with the aspirations of the past? Maybe it's too much to the authorities in order not to take it seriously, but to think that the high-rise towers of Stalin's Moscow did carry a fusion of both old and new, of Tsarist-era beauty and Proletarian utility, or even Classical designs yet using reinforced concrete and steel for those high-rise "palaces".

Maybe Chernikov knows that his works are unlikely to be built, some may have been taken but not as those of his sketches, but to see his portfolio of designs showed how he tries to invoke what a new being, coming from a working class tends to show different from what outside his Soviet Union described badly as such; and that is to conquer the impossible.