Epiphany Model 5: Expedition
132 cm x 182.8 cm (51 15/16 in. x 71 15/16 in.)
(St. Petersburg, Russia, 1970 - )
Medium and Support:
Painting: Oil on linen; Sculpture: Super-Sculpey, aluminum wire, copper tube, plumber's putty, balsa wood, plastic, tape, acrylic, steel nails, Styrofoam flakes with pigment, matboard, Bondo, epoxy glue
Partial and pledged gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2005
The tiny mountaineers take in a breathtaking view that is, in fact, a flat, generalized representation of grandeur. Removed from the painted wilderness by the tangible space that we as viewers also occupy, these meticulously rendered sculptural figures are our scouts, our stand-ins. Rostovsky has countered the sublime meditations of nineteenth-century Romanticism with the artifice of Internet-derived photographs, model replicas, and a hyper-realistic attention to expedition details. He comments on our inability today to experience and comprehend the natural world without some form of mediation—and perhaps the inability of art, painting in particular, to any longer support utopian ideals.