Art revisits legacy of Victor Hugo

Article By the Guernsey Press

GUERNSEY PRESS Wednesday 15 May 2019

Two artists who will be in residence for the fourth Art for Guernsey have made their first trip to the island. Daniel Hosego from London and Oleg Mikhailov from St Petersburg, Russia, follow in the footsteps of other Art for Guernsey artists Eugen Gorean (2016), Olivia Kemp (2017) and Dimitri Permiakov (2018). ‘David [Ummels, Art for Guernsey founder] has been dealing with my gallery in London – James Freeman Gallery – and collecting my work,’ said Daniel. ‘I was recommended to David by Dimitri Permiakov,’ said Oleg. ‘I’m very lucky to be here – from St Petersburg to St Peter Port.’ ‘David is big into Renaissance art and both of us are informed in both technique and concept by Renaissance art,’ said Daniel. ‘I work with woodcut, lithography and sometimes silkscreen printing,’ said Oleg. ‘And my interests lie in drawing,’ said Daniel. ‘But at the moment I’m influenced by everything.’ David said: ‘I’ve been collecting Daniel’s work for two years – he is highly regarded by James Freeman – and I was discussing artists with Dimitri who told me “there’s only one man between Russia and China” and that was Oleg. ‘I think it’s a really interesting path and great that we can rely on relationships that we’ve built in the past.’ The artists’ remit is a little different this year than in previous years. ‘Rather than capturing the natural beauty of the island, it is to revisit, through their art, the legacy of Victor Hugo on the island,’ explained David. ‘I believe that their style, which uses symbolism, will fit particularly well with the legacy and way of thinking of Victor Hugo.’ Daniel was born in Chichester in 1983, gained a BA in fine art at Kingston University in 2005 and an MA in sculpture at the Royal College in 2010. He creates intricately hand-drawn compositions layered with allusions to both Renaissance and contemporary culture, using modern mass production printing techniques.

 He lives and works in London. Oleg Mikhailov was born in 1981 in Leningrad. He graduated from St Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 2005. He is a member of the St Petersburg branch of the Union of Artists of Russia.

In April 2012 he made a creative trip to the Arctic and in 2017 he was invited to work at the Guanlan Original Printmaking Base in China. Also in that year his lithographs represented Russia in the One Belt, One Road initiative in China.

As well as Russia and China, Oleg’s works are widely sought after by private collectors from Italy, Romania, Britain, USA, Korea and United Arab Emirates. ‘Both Oleg and Daniel are also accomplished street artists and while they are here in Guernsey for the exhibition in September we are planning to have them do two amazing outdoor murals in St Peter Port, in order to leave a legacy that people can enjoy on a daily basis and create a destination for tourists,’ said David. ‘Guernsey has had hundreds of years of artists coming over here and rather than add to that we’d like to bring something different out of the box. I’m coming with an open mind. Victor Hugo’s work is important to people who are important to me.’ As well as the exhibition and mural, the artists will be holding workshops and there will also be the Art for Guernsey Scholarship Award. ‘We will invite all the finalists of the Sovereign Art Foundation to a workshop run by Oleg and Daniel and then after a set of interviews, two of them will be selected by the artists and go to the Royal Drawing School for two weeks in summer 2020,’ said David.

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