Somewhere between Salvador Dali and Hieronymous Bosch is this Ukranian duo. Their work deals with the worldly and otherwordly themes of religion, cosmology, myths, history and science. They manage to mould their ideas into unique visual contexts that tell a new a deeper story with every viewing.
IK are a duo consisting of Aleksei Bordusov aka AEC and Vladimir Manzhos aka Waone - creating huge, bold and challenging works that they brand as 'simple muralism'.
Both of their personal philosophies inform their work, digging deep into the lofty issue of the divinity of God and the interconnectedness of faith, nature and science - how these disparate schools of thought work with and against each other.
Adorning walls across the world, the duo's surreal imagery tell insightful and contemporary fairytales (their name translates literally to 'Interesting Fairytales') that pick apart and challenge the established ideas of respected fields of thought. Because there is no set direction or start and end-point, their work can be interpreted in many ways.
As with a lot of the surrealism that came before them, the images seem to be caught in absurd motion, a medley of drama. This doesn't make their images complicated though, rather it gives us near infinite scope to tell our own stories - each image is deserving of a book of in itself.
The allegorical nature of their work takes a lot of influence from storytellers of yore. Imagining one of their scenes being slotted into Alice in Wonderland wouldn't be too much of a stretch. Simultaneously, it wouldn't be too hard to envision their work next to political murals. They're both artforms with a lot to say - they just go about it in very different ways.
AEC thinks of his art as “an opportunity to understand mystical reasons of The Universe”. This transcendental approach to creation gives it an ethereal quality, as if the images aren't all planned, but a result of an artistic divine intervention. Perhaps, if Michelangelo were around now, he'd also be a part of their crew.
Unfortunately, back in May 2016, the pair chose to go their own ways, with both still working in very similar styles and signing their work with their name followed by 'Interesni Kazki' - much is still alive of the shared language created by the pair.
Their work has left a mark on the street art world and their murals still grace walls the world over. Although they're technically gone, they're not really - IK was just another chapter in their ever evolving fairytale.
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