Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin
Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin were among the leading figures in the underground conceptual art movement in Russia during the 1970s.
After moving to New York in 1980, they colorfully described this experience in their book, "Russian Samizdat Art." In New York they continued to make sculptural objects, and their photographic projects grew into an extended series called Photoglyphs.
In their photographs, they use their own faces to explore the nature of thought and what lies beyond it.
The Gerlovins liken their work to myth making, in that they pursue fundamental verities in life, using the sublime form of metaphorical art. The works connect not only to their metaphysical ideas, but also to their life in general: “to the whole sequence of its perhappiness.”
Their photographs are of their own bodies and faces, but do not act as portraits. Not the models but modules are used for personification of different stages of psychological experience. The artists identify their metaphorical games as theater of consciousness.
Rimma Gerlovina’s hair is featured prominently in the art of the Gerlovins as a constructing element of the body. Used for the linear drawings her braids transmit transpersonal waves reminiscent of an aura of live filaments. Long loose hairs function as threads of life; streaming in abundance, they allude to Aphrodisiac vitality and Samsonian strength. On the other hand, they are the haircloth worn during mourning and penitence.