Rape of Proserpina
62,99 x 47,24 in
160,0 x 120,0 cm
…Discrete, irregular areas of varying color and tone defined by dark borders create chromatic islands, an archipelago forming figures emerging from the darkness into the bright, Caravaggesque light. As noted above, this technique is inspired by stained glass windows where each section of colored glass is fitted with a lead collar then fused with others to create a luminous, multi-figured composition. In appropriating elements of Old Master compositions Mikhaylov extracts them from their original context and relocates them in the present. Merging religious themes with a mode of representation referring to stained glass suggests the observer occupies a special space, a spiritual space similar to the interior of a chapel, an effect enhancing the painting’s aura and meaning.
…An attractive young woman sits on the edge of a bed holding the limp body of a young man on her lap in Michel and Angelo, a reference to Michelangelo’s Pietá at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. At the left, another attractive woman looks on impassively. The connection to Michelangelo clearly suggests religious content but the uncertain identities of the beautiful women, the locus of action in the present, and the title may also imply a narrative more carnal than spiritual or may just as well allude to an inner dialogue of the Virgin Mary.
Dr. Michael P. Mezzatesta