ALLEGORY is a Genuine Signed & Dated Ari Roussimoff Oil on Canvas Painting, measuring a monumental size of approx. 48 x 70 inches. This powerful canvas was begun during the year 1979 and completed in the early 1980’s. ALLEGORY, with its incredible Magic Colouring, offers a Mesmerizing Commentary of Modern 20th Century Mankind! Set in a large urban European metropolis, within the darkest shadows of the impenetrable red night, the strangest panorama of human beings have assembled to celebrate one final ritual of the outgoing 20th century. The aristocratic and contemplative Lion-Faced Man glares out at the viewer from within a huddled together mob of disfigured humanity that includes many typical Circus Sideshow icons, such as Pinheads, Waterheads, Armless and Legless Wonders, Bearded Ladies, Claw-Women and Musclemen. This is the allegory of the 20th Century itself! On the left side of the canvas is a Czarist Russian Soldier seated beside his human-like horse, dreamily playing a nostalgic old Slavic tune on his accordion. Each of his fingers magically transform into a miniature hand. Although the music is warm and loving, the Soldier’s face is dominated by a rather forboding gas-mask. Ghosts of the First World War lurk about everywhere. Smirking cynically above the entire scene from a rooftop on one of the buildings at top right is an amused Rasputin, the notorious Siberian clairvoyant and quasi-mystic. Rasputin’s head is aimed downwards, as if he were concentrating on the musical soldier. Behind the soldier are varied symbols of bombs, terrorism, revolution and unrest. A monument of Lenin is about to topple. An open window reveals a gas-masked woman gently reaching out into the crowd, searching aimlessly for things which are renderd unobtainable. People are scattered about everywhere, strutting in arbitrary directions. A tattooed Muscle-Man in a fool’s hat flexes his massive biceps before spectators. This is a celebration of eternal chaos. The Lion-Man, his face entirely hidden by long lionine-like whiskers confronts us quizzingly with the gaze of intellect, as if asking, “so you too are a part of this?”. The sideshow performers and the audience are indestinguishable from one another in a society of unrelenting turbulance and confusion. Amidst a nocturnal big-city landscape bedecked in with festive banners, kites and balloons, two lovers are camaflouged by a peculiar circus-like procession comprised of Circus Sideshow Freaks, Religious Monks and Shadowy Ghosts of past centuries. The Jester always smiles slyly, as if he were privy to some deeply hidden secrets. His grinning face is also reflected in the Accordionist-Soldier’s darkened shades, suggesting that the horrors of the First World War would pale compared to those of the future Second World War. The Jester acknowledges more to come, more havoc to transcend the centuries. He smiles knowingly at the idleness of the great masses, who all too often are a confused participant in forging their own destinies. On one of the rooftops at right, we see a solitary Hydrocephallic, staring sadly at his own reflection in a mirror. He is helpless and alone, removed from the entire world. He represents conscience. This work is embedded with the best example of the artist’s symbolism. It stemms from his period of Fantasy and Surrealist-like works. “ALLEGORY” is a Truly Gorgeous Artwork! A Monumental Painting with Great Colour and Incredible Imagery!
“ALLEGORY” was exhibited as a centerpiece in the Roussimoff exhibits held at both The Nicholas Roerich Museum and the Eduard Nakhamkin Fine Arts Gallery (both in New York) as well as other gallery showings. It is an extremely compelling work which moves viewers in many, many ways.
Oil on Canvas by Ari Roussimoff