Lot 115
  • 115

Andrei Molodkin, b.1966

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
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  • Andrei Molodkin
  • christ, 2006
  • signed with initials scratched on the reverse of the acrylic container, dated 2006 and numbered 4/5
  • acrylic, crude oil and metal bolt
  • height of container: 31cm., 12¼in.

Catalogue Note

The conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin addresses contemporary cultural and global geopolitical issues through his sculptural works. Wax sculptures are cast into acrylic boxes, and using a combination of heat and pressure the wax is melted away leaving a hollow space.  The hollow imprint from the mould is then filled with Chechen or Iraqi crude oil creating liquid sculptures.  By transforming oil from an organic resource into an aesthetic form, the artist raises important questions regarding the role of oil within our contemporary Western culture.

The clash between culture and economy is explored by the artist when he uses recognisable religious images or cultural iconography as his subject matter. This is particularly the case with the offered lot; the image of Christ is transformed into an icon for crude oil.  Given his explicit use of Iraqi crude oil, this work is undoubtedly a reference to the true causes of conflict in the region.  Is the Iraq war motivated by religion or a battle over control of the oil supplies in the country?  This is a theme the artist has addressed before; he exhibited various models of Jesus at an exhibition in Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, New York in 2005.  They included a similar piece entitled: “Iraqi Crude Oil in the Form of Double Christ”  

The artist was born in Boui in the North of Russia and now lives and works between Moscow and Paris.  His works are held in private collections in The State Russian Museum and the S. Freud Museum in St Petersburg and the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, in Moscow.