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On "The Robe of Power" work by V. Smelyanskiy

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RUSSIA 2000: THE ROBE OF POWER, Vasily SMELYANSKIY, Graphic poetry composition

RUSSIA 2000: THE ROBE OF POWER, version 01

December 1999 – October 2010
Graphic poetry composition

in the unique technique of virzhi

(stands for "virtual painting")

(size 630 x 910 mm)
creator Vasily SMELYANSKIY



About work


Home -> Publications / Mass Media -> 2003 -> The Robe of Power by Vasily Smelyanskiy, review




According to the author's terminology, the work is done in the technique of "virtual painting" (VIRZHI) with the use of outlines of staged shots. There is the opposition in the presented method of determination – traditional / novational, essential for any language, including art and linguistic phenomena.

In this case, the use of computer technologies is the innovative method for the painting's creation. It needs to take into account that formal and technological innovations in art inevitably produce new general art approaches. Thus, VIRZHI, in the author's performance by Smelyanskiy, is not only the new innovative art technique as a tactic of organization of the new structure of art information but is the innovative art strategy, the new method of determination of art meaning, leading to the forming of specific art and plastic language.

The innovative components of VIRZHI art language are:

      • The active upgraded derepresentationism of the portrait image, expressed by the name of the picture and identified in the basic principles of its plastic decision. The only basis of semantic unit in one syntagma diluted concepts of "robe" and "power" (within the meaning of "officialism") is peripheral to the main semantic core image of "Russian President" link: "Putin" = "martial arts". Also, a number of the adjunctions to this meaning is possible - sports, youth, strength, energy, etc. They are accompanied to the process of perception, upgrading the concept of "Chief of State."
      • The program citationality. Typical for modern art languages, it often involves a variety of parodical transcriptions – from direct grotesque to hidden contextually-conditioned irony.


In this case, components of widely understood citationality include the use of:

— Photo (face, form).

— Surrealistic techniques of critical-paranoid method of Salvador Dali (the space with the inclusion of spherical elements, hands).

— Multi-level self-citation (fragments of his own work, his own poetic texts).

— Approaches which are genetically related to the Modernist Style in art (working with a contour, matching of "volumetric-planar").

— Elements of the style of Japanese prints.

The analysis of innovative components of art and of linguistic structure VIRZHI leads to the following conclusion:

1. the basic elements of this structure are well conformed with similar elements of graphic poetry - the main line of literary and poetic creativity of V. Smelyanskiy.

2. educed language structure is adequate to a pluralistic mosaicity of reality perception which is specific for modern consciousness.

3. traditional techniques (visual centricity of composition, balance of form and counter - forms and others) act as a stabilizing specific context. Due to the balanced of traditional and innovative dialectic, expand art an imaginative possibilities of the visual and the plastic text, its poly - semasiology increases.

From the above, it follows that Smelyanskiy has developed a unique art technology, which successfully elaborates the synthesized tendencies of the modern plastic language of art.


Senior teacher
Department of art history and theory of Chelyabinsk State University Andrey Shipitsyn


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