Konstantin Bessmertny, born in 1964 at Blagovesthensk in the former USSR and now living in Macau, is one of the most distinguished artists working in Asia today. His technical mastery, achieved after seven years of studying Fine Art in the grand academies of the former soviet union, combined with his detailed knowledge on a wide-range of subjects including literature, music, history, and politics lend to his work an intelligence and credibility that is rarely witnessed in contemporary art.
Konstantin Bessmertny has taken the base knowledge that many Russian – trained artists have become revered for and used it to explore hilarious images of political satire, love, and oligarchic life. The exploration of man's tastes, foibles, dreams, and· fantasies is conducted through humour, irony, parody and satire.
There is always something vaguely disconcerting about the works (like catching one's uncle in frilly knickers and high heels or like a teenager voyeuristically peeping into a strip-club) but they remain totally compelling. Complex in composition and recondite in iconography, the paintings pose an intellectual riddle: indeed, part of the challenge and the pleasure resides in identifying and disentangling the motifs and sources of inspiration.
One senses that the cultural well from which Konstantin draws is a deep one: from opera, Berlin cabaret, vaudeville, burlesque, cartoons, newspapers to theatre and costume design. Even the artistic sources of inspiration are multifarious and multi-layered: Russian icons, cartoons, ex votos, old master portraits, still life's, trompe-l'oeil and allegorical painting (from Titian to Vermeer, the Fontainebleau School to Matisse, Bosch to Brueghel, and Chagall to Picasso).