Jordan Bates 6 min read

The Sacred Art of Vladimir Kush: 35 Visionary Paintings That Will Awaken Your Artistic Soul

Art, Poetry & Writing art psychedelic art

The Sacred Art of Vladimir Kush: 35 Visionary Paintings That Will Awaken Your Artistic Soul

When asked in an interview how he would describe his work to someone who had never seen it, Russian-born surrealist painter Vladimir Kush responded,

“I would describe my work with the quote from William Blake:

‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite…'”

This response alone should give you some insight into Kush’s perspective — a perspective which drives him to create some of the most stunning and celebrated works of surrealism in recent history.

Kush describes his work as Metaphorical Realism and has commented on the power of metaphor:

“To reflect the world in the mirror of the metaphor — this is my goal. Metaphor does not only belong to linguistic communication but can also be found in our daily life. Metaphor is the means of communication that we live by. First of all, the metaphor is aimed at the viewer’s feelings and subconscious. It gives full rein to imagination, as it is the imagination that creates the connections between two seemingly different things.”

In his paintings, Kush is known for depicting seemingly realistic scenes that contain hidden images or impossible elements.

Look closely at all of the following paintings, and you’ll notice that things are not what they seem. What appears to be something commonplace, when scrutinized more closely, is in fact something strange, or else it is two things at once. This technique allows Kush to create “connections between two seemingly different things.”

Take some time to contemplate these paintings, and you’ll find yourself making myriad novel associations and activating the dormant power of your imagination.

Kush has an uncanny ability to seduce us into seeing the world differently, and if you let him, he will feed your creative mind in a way that few artists can.

“Metaphor leaves the mind open to grasp onto the hidden likeness of things and events. And the more distant these things are, the greater the effect. The unexpectedness of the connection and sudden insight, which takes your breath away, is the true measure of the painting’s value.”

— Vladimir Kush
Vladimir Kush
“… metaphorical art challenges our subconcsious with the symbolism of artifacts. Any metaphor has its own story to tell. Metaphor ‘sees’ through centuries, unveiling the images of the world and connecting notions created by civilization. At the same time, metaphor can easily reflect the complexities of our modern life, with its ambiguity and contradictions. My mission is to find a metaphorical “parallel” for every side of real life. The element of unexpectedness will shake up the viewer and awaken his artistic nature.”

— Vladimir Kush
“Because of its ability to fly, its metamorphosis and its weightless quality, the Butterfly is a symbol of the soul, according to many different mythologies. Psyche, Greek goddess of the soul, was depicted with butterfly wings. Travel, journey, and beauty are also attributes of the Butterfly.”

— Vladimir Kush
“I believe that the viewer’s insight comes at once. It is not about discovering something new. This concept is similar to that of Plato who believed there is an ideal world, a “cave” that human souls once dwelled in. The “cave” retained their core ideas of things after they left. Therefore, the insight that comes when viewing art is a recollection of that. My role is to stimulate this subconscious process of remembering through my art.”

— Vladimir Kush
“Our thinking and every day language are deeply metaphorical. One of the most evident examples is ‘Time is money.’ Still the metaphor is not limited only with the form of language – the very process of thinking is metaphorical. Metaphor allows us to build a bridge between distant and unrelated objects. Or as Aristotle put it: ‘Metaphor is the intuitive perception of likeness in the things that are different.'”

— Vladimir Kush
Vladimir Kush Paintings (4)
“Being exposed to different cultures is definitely a positive gain. My homeland, Russia, was a “closed country” at the time I was growing up. Inability to travel or to see other cultures evoked in me the determination to overcome the boundaries of everyday routine with vivid Imagination and an ability to see surrounding symbols, not just facts. The Russian military at that time was simply an exaggerated model of Soviet social life: a mix of a prison and Boy Scout camp. When I emigrated, many people in America were already “thirsty” for imported imagination, which reminded them of their own forgotten dreams, while surrounded with everyday practical, factual and dynamic life.”

— Vladimir Kush
“I do not think that I reached the ‘ceiling;’ new unexpected analogies and associations in the life of people and in the surrounding world will always attract my attention. My slogan: ‘The world is the mirror of Metaphor.'”

— Vladimir Kush

Head on over to Vladimir Kush’s website to view more of his work and purchase prints. 

51tAOAk0zhL._SX417_BO1,204,203,200_We also recommend Vladimir Kush’s beautiful book, Metaphorical Journeywhich is “a poetic catalogue of the Vladimir Kush’s major paintings and drawings through 2002. It includes his biography, his credo as founder of Metaphorical Realism which is in the school of Surrealism, and full page illustrations of his art and related poetry. It is a coffee table style book as well as an official Catalogue Raisonne reference.”

Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates is a lover of God, father, leadership coach, heart healer, writer, artist, and long-time co-creator of HighExistence. —

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