Sputnik Gallery is pleased to present Naked Iron, an exhibition of new work by Moscow photographer Boris Bendikov.
In modern-day culture, nudity, especially of the female body, is used as an object to represent desire and seduction. The word “naked” is not used in the title of this series randomly. In Naked Iron, Bendikov takes the traditional object of desire and replaces it with metal machinery, specifically oil production equipment. In doing this, the artist creates a paradox, a symbolic exchange. The viewer sees a material object that in everyday life can hardly be identified as a source of aesthetic interest, an image often associated with greed and wealth, and most recently catastrophe and outrage, portrayed as an object of beauty, a sacred image that seems to possess magical properties.
Such an artistic gesture has strong critical potential. The artist deconstructs a mechanical system and, by putting it in the place of the beautiful and sacred, he transforms it into a source of temptation and desire. This exchange challenges the usual canons of beauty shaking our most cherished notions about what is beautiful and what is ugly.
To a large degree, Bendikov’s project evokes the Russian Avant-Garde of the 1920s or more recent industrial design and formalism by connecting the abstract and figurative. The real details of the image are gradually lost upon the viewer. Bendikov exposes pure form in its most abstract manifestation, giving each image a unique and independent value.
Form is not the only thing of importance in these photographs. The contrast that arises at the boundaries of the object creates great tension. The simple white paper acquires a special quality readily found in Russian icons, the Suprematist paintings of Kazimir Malevich or the conceptual objects of Ilya Kabakov.
Bendikov the artist exudes professionalism, mastery and creativity toward all his projects, be it a girl, a bottle or a landscape. As a rule, he chooses a subject and conducts a detailed study, seeking to reveal and expose all the hidden potential his subject has to offer. Naked Iron highlights these talents, as well as Bendikov’s other strengths as a photographer: his accuracy in capturing the nuance of a subject, the precision of his composition and his mastery of light and shade.
Boris Bendikov lives and works in Moscow, Russia. He has exhibited widely and has participated in biennales and art fairs throughout the world, including at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Naked Iron is his first solo exhibition with Sputnik Gallery.