about the shappo dynasty

Professional dynastic continuity has been socially and culturally important in all epochs from the remote past to the present. A professional dynasty is a guarantor of high responsibility and efficiency of work of all its representatives.

Vladimir Shappo is the founder of the creative dynasty: his three sons became artists. The life and aesthetic ideals, creative methods of Vladimir Shappo have always been a vivid essential school of comprehensive education for his children and a starting point of their artistic and personal growth. He has always cultivated the feeling of internal freedom and independence of views in his sons. Today each of them is a unique creative person with a particular vision of the world and individual style. Vladimir says that his children are his colleagues and allies in life and art.

Vladimir Shappo always emphasizes the advantage of spiritual values over the material ones in his creative activity. He is an artist of a peculiar type, sensitive, frank in his relation to the world and life, and at the same time prone to intellectual and philosophical reflection on historical events and art fortunes. His paintings from the series "Artists. Prophets." (2000 — 2018) are represented at the exhibition.

For the artist the most important thing in the protagonists of his portraits is the depth of their inner world. He thinks that human nature is ambivalent. Human souls have no absolute light or darkness; he rather sees a fight of these two elements: therefore, his images are many-faced, sometimes phantasmagorical.

The artists interprets the Gospel narratives in his own way, looking for an up-to-date form of conversation about eternal subjects of being. His philosophical parables are laid out by means of a special language, allowing the coexistence of high, low and grotesque things, the meeting of momentary and timeless issues. Distinctive plastic forms and bright local colours, bearing a symbolic meaning, impart special expressiveness to the works.

Alexander Shappo. His sculptures are closely connected with facts of life surrounding the artist, are based on bright impressions and feelings born in the process of interaction with the world and the history of culture. Alexander is neither a portrayer of ordinary life nor a historian, though elements of lyrical narration and deep interest in the past are characteristic of his art. The artist wants to reveal a universal existential meaning in certain everyday events or plots; he also knows how to show a generalized character type in each particular human image. Alexander likes to work with bronze, allowing him to achieve a free almost impressionist modelling of forms. A deliberate distortion of a plastic form, an expressive almost grotesque sharpness of silhouettes are distinctive features of his individual style. Wooden works are performed in a different plastic manner. The form becomes more generalized, assumes monumental nature and fluency of lines.

Graphic art occupies a special place in Alexander's creative work, allowing him to express emotions, to use literary plots better than sculpture. He prefers coloured lithography. The themes of love, life and death, passion prevail in Alexander's graphic works.

The creative activity of Pavel Shappo is dynamic and multifaceted. He is an artist in the broad sense of this word: an artist of theatre and cinema, easel painter, interior designer, scriptwriter and writer of short stories, subtle and expressive in conveying the narrator's emotional state. All directions of Pavel's creative activity are naturally interconnected and cannot be separated. Literary images take visible shapes in the artist's paintings. They feature the same incompleteness and eccentricity; nevertheless, they cannot be called sketches.

The spontaneous "randomness" of compositional solutions is thoroughly balanced. The determinant characteristic of Pavel's art is a cinematographic view of the surrounding world, of himself as a part of this world, vibrant with emotions, passions and events. The artist's works are a script and storyboard of the film of his own life.

Anton Shappo is the youngest of the brothers. His typical dynamism of life and creative behaviour, his desire to "get into" different experiments is a family trait of the members of the Shappo clan. Anton is the managing director of the popular Minsk tattoo studio "U Lisitsy", a successful designer of interiors. However, the beloved and essential activity of this artist, which allows him to concentrate and to fall into the creative process, is painting.

In Anton's painting certain life events, impressions from travelling, meetings, encounters with previously unknown perceptions of the world: new smells, tastes, sounds — are transformed into images, which are remote from
everyday reality, romantic in their strange exoticism. They embody the artist's boyish passion to travel in time and space, his mature inclination to philosophical thoughts about a human being and the world and his bent for a metaphorical pictorial language. In his creative experiments Anton is independent from external views and impacts. He deliberately ruins classical canons of painting, looks for unexpected solutions. His works should be called art-objects rather than paintings in the traditional sense of the word. Anton cares a lot about the masterful "elaboration" and technical completeness of a work in all its elements. Even frames, which he always makes with his own hands, are not an addition or decoration, but an integral part of the ideological and figurative concepts of his paintings-objects.
Olga Kovalenko – Art History PhD, assistant professor of the Institute of Contemporary Knowledge named after A. M. Shirokov, assistant professor of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) affiliated with UNESCO, member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) affiliated with UNESCO
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