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For those who have everything – “future antiques”

The Odessa Museum of Modern Art (Sabansky Lane, 4a) opened a personal exhibition of the sculptor Alexander Podmasco. In fact, antiques can be declared to calm the soul any junk sweetheart that was made at least half a century ago. But the organizers of the exhibition with the proud name “Future Antiques” had in mind quite different things. The charm of antiquity plus a high level of performance, a healthy commitment to tradition.

The works of Alexander Podmasco would look very appropriate against the background of antique dark wood furniture, with noble carvings. Reflected in the mirrors, they multiply their solid, status, non-fussy beauty.

Surely in 50 years some impressive collector of antique gizmos will be proud of the Poltava Battle chess set, the Zaporizhzhya Sich vodka set, the Neptune and Mermaid cups, the Volna lamp, or any of the many figurines. In addition to the works themselves, the author presented photographs of works that he had already parted with.

“Faberge created antiques of a bygone era,” says Semyon Kantor, director of the Moscow Institute of International Relations. “These are antiques of the future.” The author is a very rare realist for today. We live in an age of avant-garde. Every artist wants to express a thought, translate a concept, and Alexander Podmasco observes people. His works are images, he makes each work in great detail. In painting, such a phenomenon would be called hyperrealism, and this approach is very appropriate for such products.

Semyon Borisovich reminded that masters, gifted sculptors and jewelers brought fame to popular brands since ancient times. Sometimes their names were dissolved in the brand name, in other cases they became famous. For example, Evgeny Lansere, however, he was not only engaged in painting porcelain and engraving on glass, but also worked in easel painting and graphics, created theatrical scenery, monumental paintings, illustrated books. Alexander Podmasco, in addition to sculpture, “is a little engaged” and painting.

“But first of all, I consider myself a sculptor,” says Alexander. – It is especially difficult to work with a tree; I was mistaken – and that’s it. Nothing can be fixed. Bronze is another matter. Much can be achieved in the finishing process. Sometimes it takes a long time to work on the image, and the composition as a whole, sometimes, builds up instantly. So it was, for example, with the “Christmas Cup”, where I used both a nautilus shell (such shells have been used since the 17th century), and bronze (ordinary, gilded and silver plated), and stone …

“Christmas Cup” turned out, as they say, rich. However, from the point of view of strict taste, many viewers singled out another product with a nautilus – the Volna lamp. Here the rhythm of lines is observed, nothing superfluous, no excessive brilliance.

.. and his work. Photo by Oleg Vladimirsky. Work by Alexander Podmasco. Photo by Oleg Vladimirsky.
For almost ten years, says Semyon Kantor, in the best interior and gift salons of Odessa and other large cities of Ukraine, next to world-famous brands, cups and writing instruments, sculptures and vodka sets are being sold, models for which are created by Alexander Podmasco. Chess and panels, medals and family coats of arms – the list of exclusive gifts “from Podmasco” is endless. And all this is gifts for those who have everything. And the master has enough imagination to avoid copying ancient objects of the palace interior of the 18th-19th centuries, which many contemporaries sin. The market confirmed the value of these inventions: one Ukrainian company producing small silver plastics repeated several works by Alexander Podmasco for his production models.

Alexander’s bronze plastic impresses with the expressiveness of the characters’ poses and faces: dear klezmer musicians (“Violinist”), artisans (“The Old Tailor”), antique types (“Spartan”). The collection “Neighbors on the Planet” includes such amusing works as The Thinker (a businesslike primate, but a very meaningful face!), The Shark of Imperialism (a cartoonish bourgeois, a typical “owner of factories, newspapers, ships”). And here’s the old watch, however, no … The Grenadier figure with a mechanical watch embedded in it is so elegant that if you don’t know for sure about the fundamental refusal of the sculptor Podmasco from any kind of copying, it’s easy to take for the old one!

Wooden sculptures of Alexander (“Archer”, “Screaming”, “Kozak with a pipe”) mainly represent types from Russian history. A tree is native, warm, our …

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