Oleg Slepov was born in Russia and graduated from the Stroganov Art Institute in Moscow, Russia. In 1994, he received the Russian President’s Bursary Award for art and in 1990 became a member of the Union of Russian Artists and International Association of Art UNESCO. He has participated in various exhibitions in New York, Russia, Poland and Germany and has worked on several commissions, including a wooden sculpture complex for children recreation park in Pavlovsk, Russia.
Slepoves works is a fusion of the strict classical, traditional form and the organic acceptance of avant-garde art. His sculptures embody plastic structure and sharp outlines forming sophisticated arabesques to which he adds exaggerated details and fantastical elements to portray the subconscious and irrational aspect of human nature. Captivated by Slepov’s strict plastic language, the viewer discovers the multi-layers of meaning, the metaphors, and unorthodox use of materials.
Attentive to his models, Slepov creates complex and dualistic forms, which reflect the subconscious of man’s inner world. The symbolic and allegorical nature of his sculptures produces a dramatic effect as the artist presents the mystery of human existence and enigmas to his origin. Slepov fascinates the viewer with the distorted forms and disturbing elements, which transform the figure to the world of dreams. The curving line and graceful poses bring an element of sensuality to the whimsical and fantastic figures in Slepov’s sculpture.
Intellectual in his motif, Slepov often represents the magic of ancient cultures—the civilizations of Egypt, ancient Africa, pre-Homer Greece, and epochs of Chimeras. As he reflects on the progression of time and the evolution of man, the artist connects the present to the past. These allusions to the ancient world furthers Slepov motif of universality and transcendence, for the roots of civilization continue to dwell within man’s soul, mind, and body.
Slepov’s sculptures may at times appear unsettling yet not in the physical elements of the work but in the psychological search for balance between reason and madness. His rich imagination generates incredible images of the inner processes of the subconscious. Slepov strives to present the world of dreams yet remain grounded in reality, thus achieving a harmonious representation of the inner world of man.
As the 19th century British painter Augustus John put it: “An artist can be a dreamer but his visions acquire the right to such a reality that they become more tangible than everything surrounding him in reality.”