Alisa Contemporary Art Gallery to show in Bordeaux’s BAD+ Art Fair - GulfToday

Alisa Contemporary Art Gallery to show in Bordeaux’s BAD+ Art Fair

Alisa 11

Why is there foam in the sea by Kirill Mikhailin.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer 

Alisa Contemporary Art Gallery, located at The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, has announced its first participation in the BAD+ art and design fair in Bordeaux, France (May 30 - June 2). BAD+ is one of the biggest contemporary art fairs, and Alisa Gallery will present paintings by Paris-based artists Kirill Makarov and Kirill Mikhailin, as well as an objet d’art by Diana Shliman, specially commissioned for the fair. May 31 will see a breakfast with artists, hosted by Bordeaux-based collector of socialist realist art, Olivia Hublot. It will feature her vast collection of works and introduce Makarov and Mikhailin to the audience. “It will be a great opportunity to meet the artists in person and talk about their works presented at Alisa Gallery’s booth at BAD+,” says Alisa Bagdonaite, founder of her eponymous gallery. She is also a curator and art manager.

Alisa Gallery opened its space in 2021 to support young and emerging artists during COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2024, it has been operating in Dubai. The gallery exhibits both analogue and digital art across various mediums and its artists’ roster interrogates a diverse array of research topics ranging from social criticism to cyberfeminism. Makarov (b.1988, St Petersburg, currently based in Paris, France), is an alumnus of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. He works with various digital media (VR, AR and video games) but always returns to his alma mater — painting.


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In his work, Makarov raises questions about the complex relationship between the real and the virtual as well as about the representation of evidence in media that shapes reality. His artworks can be found in large public and corporate collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin (Moscow), Credit Suisse (Zurich), as well as in private collections in the USA, Germany, Mexico, Italy, France and the UAE.

“The showcased works continue the Unveiled series that I have been working on lately,” he says. “In them, I explore the subject of the mediatisation of violence. What interests me is what sociologist Sinisa Malesevic calls one of the main consequences of the spread of social media — the production of confusion or doubt. The result of this doubt - and in my opinion, perhaps its goal — is the anxiety that takes over the media space. The oil on canvas painting technique allows me to capture the impression of anxiety fuelled by digital media.”

Alisa 22  Alisa Bagdonaite is the Founder of Alisa Contemporary Art Gallery.

Mikhailin (b.1992, Rostov-on-Don, currently based in Paris) is an interdisciplinary artist, an alumnus of the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design and Ecole des Beaux Arts Toulouse. His practice features installations, objects, graphics and paintings. His works can be found in the public collection of the RuArts Foundation, as well as in private collections. The two vivid large-scale works, Wreckage in Sea Foam and Wreckage in a Cloudy Sky are landscapes: but the artist claims that he does not think in landscape categories.

“What is more important to me is that the painting has no formal centre. The absence of a centre, which usually attracts attention, I compensate with the intensity of the colour ... This is a kind of non-human-centric story, without a central perspective. A chaos of shapes, where all parts are equal.” The graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts Toulouse declares: “I love Bordeaux, I went there last year for a conference on contemporary art museums (at CAPC). This will be my first painting show at such a prominent venue in France.”

Shliman (b.1986, Novorossiysk, currently based in Moscow) is a multidisciplinary artist, a graduate of the Krasnodar University of Culture and Arts and the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art. In her practice, she explores the concept of the feminine through the lens of dark ontologies and psychoanalysis. She works with various mediums including installation, ceramics, metal, painting and sculpture. Inspired by the ancient beliefs of the peoples of the Eastern and Northern Black Sea region, where the artist comes from, there was no division into the sacred and profane — there was no binary, and therefore no clash.

One of the central figures reflecting the tripartiteness and unity of the world is the Scythian goddess Api, who is not just a woman but a bird and a snake simultaneously, and lives in all existing worlds. The Bird and Snake object is made of felt — one of the traditional, local materials which the artist uses in her work. It is a unique double-sided medium that has no back or front, with both sides equally important and parts of the whole.

BAD+ takes place in a contemporary space in the heart of Bordeaux: Hangar 14. It is an iconic renovated industrial building on the banks of the Garonne and looks onto the world-renowned 18th-century city of Bordeaux. BAD+ was birthed in 2020 by Jean-Daniel Compain, who had long wanted to give Bordeaux, his hometown, an event worthy of its history and its place on the international scene. Compain, the General Commissioner of BAD+, has developed La Fiac, one of the top three contemporary art fairs in the world; Paris Photo, the world’s first fair dedicated to photography and Paris Photo Los Angeles launched in the iconic Paramount studios in West Hollywood. He is also the Founder of The WAL — The World Art Lounge.

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