SIMON SHEGELMAN, A Modern Artist with Antique Roots.
By Giorgio Tellan / Italian art historian (AZ-Arte Cultura, n.73, Sept.1993)
The old-age diatribe of the major or minor importance of scenography in painting is brilliantly resolved by the Canadian artist of Russian origin, Simon Shegelman, a modern artist with antique roots, with surprising easiness by using both Renaissance circumscription of the figures, and the open shape peculiar of the avant-garde. Artist and creator of his own work ( etchigs, lithographs, encaustics, graffiti, water-colors, oils, etc.), Shegelman, carrying a large technical baggage aquired in the Fine Arts Academy of Riga, is a singular personage beyond his personal history ( his ostracism toward the Russian authorities, his wandering through Europe and North America), for his intimate vocation toward the arts of which he is a student and a Master at the same time.
Faithful to the axiom enunciated by Simonides of Ceos (556-467 BC), that painting is silent poetry and poetry is the painting that speaks, Shegelman confers to his works that indefinable something that belong to poetry. He does it by using the universal language of the form to which (language) he gives back the value of symbol in works of large breath in which light has the primary task of emphasizing the colors, often fluorescent, arranges harmoniousely on the canvas, obtaining what L.B. Alberi (1436) in his book De Pictura defines as... a certain friendship of colors that one added to the other gives them dignity and grace (pg 86, 48).
An acute observer of the world around him, the artist is able to interpret, with sure mastery and an original sense of the rhythm of the most secret motions of the contemporary man, to give voice to the single and to the multitude picking up the the most sugnificant aspects of existance.
At the analytical level we must take notice of the possibility of reading his works with a plurality of keys ranging from from the strictly econological to the phylosophical, psychologocal, social and, at times, magical also because Shegelman builds the paintings and priori but, first he lets the feeling of living permiate him and , man among man, he begins to create the art by representing , imitation, distorting, exalting the reality (exteriour or interior) by inserting plural meanings in the painted space whose results emphasize works that have high expression and communication.
Complex or symple, his works represent, alway and anyhow, a significant contribution to the progress of contemporary Art.