Sergei’s art is a strange combination of high aestheticism and folk “roots”, modernistic extravaganza and dadaistic fragility, symbolic bottomlessness and Russian past print metaphysics, artistic refinement and graphic roughness. But even all of those put together do not make his art unprofessional or eclectic. Rather, it transmits giant spiritual experience and marks the beginning of the sacred, mysterious, the beginning of all beginnings.
Most of Sergei Alferov’s works are executed in oil on paper, but he also employs pastels, silk-screen and various mixed media techniques.
Sergei Alferov was born in Tashkent in 1951, attended art college for four years, before moving to Moscow 1972. Two years later, in 1974 he decided to take part in the famous exhibition of ‘unofficial’ artists on the outskirts of Moscow that was destroyed by the authorities with a bulldozer, but he arrived on the site just as authorities were breaking the exhibition up.
Sergei Alferov was one of those artists who is called “out-of-minds”. His life was lacking stability and comfort. He deprived himself of comfort having chosen life in one of the artistic communes, together with vagabond philosophers, hippies and art fanatics. He slept in a sleeping bag, the wine box was his table, yet, he was open to any kind of “Space energy,” engulfing himself in it with greed and passion, catching and registering the in-coming winds of the universal information.
But Sergey Alferov was not just a medium to register Astral turbulence – coldly, showing no passion. His sight was directed first of all to the most ancient hideaways of consciousness. Fortunately, Sergey Alferov belonged to those few (he paints turtles with the whole Universe inside). His “internal” intermingles with the “external” so closely that unwillingly one remembers a postulate about a dialectical beginning of Nature which produced humans to study itself. The fact that artist’s perception of the world was different from that of the majority of the people is not his fault.
How “national,” how Russian Sergey Alferov’s art? On the on hand, it was easy to answer this question by quoting Cosmic character of Russian Soul (though we have to admit his art has absorbed the scent of many distant and mysterious cultures). On the other hand, he was so dissolved in primitive esoteric tradition, so assimilated spiritually that it seems he had lost his ethnic identity irreversibly. Yet his “internal” immigration didn’t break him away from the “Russian quintessence” – it was important to have at least some understanding of nuances and slight details of Oriental, relaxed view of the World, to see beyond the dizzy Anderssonian spires and attics, Slavic steppe, to feel its astringent odor, to hear the mares graze and neigh in the night. Indeed, the more fantastic and unattainable the goals of Russian artists, the more their restless spirit carries itself away from their native grounds, the better they feel about it, the better they work, producing an interesting, profound and original reality, adding substantial to the cultural treasures of the World.
Sergey Alferov, the lonesome Russian half-Daos, half-Suphy, wonders through times and legends with a leaking umbrella in his hand. He gave us his tender, touching revelations and… welcomed us to join him in unlimited, unknown, remote land. He died in 2005.