Playing with Fire
Curated by Johnny Mullen
May 5th-July 7th, 2019
Opening Reception Sunday, May 5th, 6 pm- 9 PM
Peninsula Art Space is pleased to announce Playing with Fire, a solo show featuring the work of Anton Zolotov. Zolotov crafts a sprawling survey of misanthropy, isolation, and social rejection in the context of contemporary youth culture through intensive artistic studies of the ephemera of Kurt Cobain, the iconic vocalist of Nirvana. The artwork connects how these various elements of the dark side of modern adolescence relate to an ongoing roiling cycle of self-harm, addiction, and ultimately, premature self-destruction among marginalized young people today.
In Zolotov’s artwork, Cobain represents both the inception and encapsulation of an extremely virulent strain of nihilistic aimlessness melded with hedonism which has only expanded in scope in the years following the singer’s death in 1994. This uncontrolled growth has only been further stoked by the omnipresence of social media, and arguably can be directly linked to the opioid crisis currently ravaging many American working class communities. While Zolotov’s artwork calls attention to a toxic mindset on a societal level, his depictions of both Cobain and this overarching sense of despondence are uniquely intimate. Tattered pages covered with barely legible faded text and appropriated images from Cobain’s personal journal are re-printed and blown up to large scale. His doodles are recreated in a variety of non-traditional mixed media, ranging from house paint, to sand, to vegetable juice. While still embodying a sense of rough-edged coarseness, Zolotov’s renderings relay sensitivity, compassion, and even identification with these lost individuals.
About the Artist-
Anton Zolotov, born 1982 in Russia, lives and works in New York.
Anton Zolotov—a NY based artist born in Russia—received a BFA in Studio Art at Hunter College. He has curated and participated in group and solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Greece. His work revolves around change, and incorporates found objects, fabric, trash, and the work of other artists. Intervening in the materiality of culture, which can become traceless in its ubiquity, Zolotov agitates the categories of object and subject.