New symbolism and the philosophy of a conceptual idea

This text will briefly consider the philosophic aspects of the practice of new symbolism in visual art. New or conceptual symbolism is an artistic approach within the framework of conceptualism. The term was first used by Vladimir Komar in 2009. The main provisions of this approach were formulated by Evgeny Gegouzin in the 2010s, who also considered this method from a scientific and philosophical point of view. The text below contains some conclusions.

Evgeny Gegouzin. Wakurenritt. 2021. Acryliks on canvas. 100×100 cm

1. Any arbitrary image reflects the author’s point of view (his concept) and, therefore, is conceptual. This position can be expressed not only through the plot, but also through the technique, or by another means or characteristics of this author. Even the author’s photo often tells about the author’s attitude to the image.

2. A person can only depict and identify signs and symbols. Unfortunately, the visual art in question traditionally does not affect the sense of touch, smell, taste and hearing.

Evgeny Gegouzin. Eilat on the Red Sea. 2021. Acryliks on canvas. 100×100 cm

3. What the viewer perceives as a picture (the product of individual creativity) is a set of symbols. Otherwise, it is a random sketch or a more or less photographic image of reality.

4. New or conceptual symbolism uses simple and accessible symbols to express a conceptual idea. These traditional signs can have a rather strange outlook today, illustrating the proverb that everything new is forgotten old.

Evgeny Gegouzin. Musk. 2020. Acryliks on canvas. 100×100 cm

5. Modern perception is overloaded with complex symbols. Not just large-scale canvases, but huge modern colorful installations with multimedia technology – all these super-complex designs are destinated not only to hide the lack of a conceptual idea from the author, but also to plunge the viewer into conceptual polytomy.

6. The complexity of symbolism brought to life priests-interpreters of the expert type. Since the ordinary viewer is often unable to understand the complex symbolism of not only modernity, but also the so-called classics, the host of priests has made the interpretation of any art as their profession.

Evgeny Gegouzin. Old Line. 2019. Acryliks on canvas. 100×100 cm

At the same time, the new symbolism considers a person’s perception of the surrounding world as a certain function of this world, being convinced of the need for its transformation – in this case, a change in the perception of the surrounding world – in time. The development of a conceptual idea in visual art is all the more necessary, since the current state of ideas about the surrounding world is quite inadequate.

Evgeny Gegouzin. Wonderbild. 2018. Acryliks on canvas. 100×100 cm

Other pictures of the world are systematically blocked by the thinking of traditional being. And quite strange are the attempts of some public opinion leaders to give homo sapience the role of a leading link in the process of evolution, turning it from a standard object into a unique subject of transformation.

There are several art-works above – in the style of conceptual symbolism – by the artist Evgeny Gegouzin from Jerusalem.

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