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Collage Technique Brings Young Artist Success

All of Usova’s work is made out of collages of magazines. Her new exhibit showcases works based on the Rorschach test and a series of paintings depicting Christ’s last moments. Daria Usova

Young Russian artist Daria Usova, whose collage work is in the Guggenheim and other museums around the world, delves darker for a new exhibit now on at the RuArts Gallery.  

Usova, who is now based in Geneva, has made a name for herself with collages that use only "paper, glue and a pencil" in a technique called pieces art that has seen her ranked as one of the up-and-coming Russian artists.

While in the past she has mainly focused on landscapes and portraits, her new RuArts exhibition explores the darker themes of personality disorders in the "Rorschach Cards" series — visceral art which plays on the pictures used as a psychiatric diagnostic technique.

The other part of the exhibit, "Twelve Seconds From the Life of Christ," looks at the last moments of Christ's life as he dies on the cross. Usova says it is about "the eternal quest and suffering," adding that it "will have a different meaning for everyone. … The viewers are confronted with their own ideas of belief, religion and death."

"Daria has transformed the classic jigsaw puzzle," said Katrin Borisov, the art director of the RuArts Gallery, "Using only magazine clippings, which are basically material artifacts of the modern life and almost ready-made art objects."

Borisov said the exhibit has been successful with "younger viewers, who appreciate Daria's peculiar view of the world and see it as inherent to their own generation."

Usova, 25, has been working as an artist for years, exploring a wide range of themes, from fashion, to Russian fairy tales, to psychiatry. Although the subjects of her works have changed greatly in the past four years, she has always remained true to the collage technique.

"In life, you should always do what only you, and no one else, can do," Usova said.

Her works have already been put on display in the Guggenheim, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and in several private collections in Paris and London.

Although she now lives in Switzerland, she keeps coming back to Moscow because "it's a place that inspires me for its movement and its vitality — in Geneva I always work with plain, basic colors. … Here, I see bright colors everywhere."

The third part of the exhibition consists of collages depicting city landscapes and their vibrant atmosphere.

Some of her earlier work, including a portrait of pop producer and singer Igor Krutoi, can be seen on her blog at  Dariausova.blogspot.com.

"12 Seconds From the Life of Christ," "Cities" and "The Rorschach Cards" are on display till Saturday. 10 1st Zachatyevsky Pereulok. Metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 201-4475, www.ruarts.ru

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