Alexei Gordin, view to exhibition "How could it happen?" at ArtDepoo, Tallinn, 2021. Photo: Joosep Kivimäe

Alexei Gordin (1989) is mainly known as a painter, however, he also works with photography, video and performance. Using black humour, Gordin draws attention to the absurdity of the (art) world and alienation, highlighting issues like inequality and the difficulties of marginalised groups. Gordin’s work is influenced by caricatures and combines text and pictures, referring to comics and meme culture.

Gordin began exhibiting at the beginning of the 2010s. In his solo show “March 1989. August 2014” (Tallinn City Gallery, 2014), Gordin looked at the hidden side of post-soviet societies and its palpable presence in Eastern Europe today, using the medium of photography. Raised in Tomsk, Russia, he has applied his experience in many of his works to make visible what it is like to live in a transitional society. Another well known work is “Artist picking through the trash” (Y-gallery, 2014), where he analysed the relationship of making art and poverty. Artworks he created during the project were funded by money the artist earned by collecting empty bottles. He also documented it on video, suggesting this could be an alternative way to fund culture.

In the 2015 solo exhibition “Forever not ready” at Draakoni gallery, Gordin presented paintings that could be interpreted as an ironic commentary on the functioning of the art world. He continued with the same theme in several of his painting series presented at solo exhibitions “Art Is Not Just Fun Anymore” (Tartu Art House, 2017) and “I remained silent” (Kogo Gallery, 2018). In his work Gordin creates caricatures of the art world, with its galleries, fairs and white cubes, where artists are often the underdogs. The atmosphere of the works is often depressing, and the characters alienated from society, the frustrating images are accompanied by text akin to comic strips.

In 2019 Gordin exhibited his so-called second hand paintings at the culture club Tempel in Pärnu. The artist used old paintings and added ironic messages that once again played with stereotypes of the art world. By using found paintings the artist questions the value of artworks and the mechanisms of the art world.

Alexei Gordin studied painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA, 2011) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (MA, 2016). He has exhibited in group exhibitions in Kiasma and Kumu Art Museum. In 2017 he received the Young Painter Prize. Gordin’s works belong to collections of Tartu Art Museum, Lithuanian National Gallery of Art, and Kiasma as well as to Seppo Fränti’s private collection.



Selected projects

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