Not sure what abstract art is trying to say? A new art exhibition at Douglas College’s New Westminster campus is inviting viewers to create their own meaning.
The Amelia Douglas Gallery presents Next Level, by Daniil Alikov, starting Sept. 13.
The works in the show are created intentionally without meaning, and the show asks viewers to directly engage with their emotional and visceral responses to what they see, a press release from the gallery explains.
Alikov refers to his style as an intersection between fashion, design, technology and futuristic fantasies, in works that are largely inspired by digital media: think pixellated monochrome patterns, swirling pops of colour, and thick angular lines representing images like barcodes.
“The whole Internet culture, through that tiny portion I see every day, is shaping my vision and style,” Alikov said in the release. “Contemporary fashion, modern fabrics and materials, industrial design, NFT culture … it all influences me.”
Alikov’s vast artistic background has culminated in a unique blend of techniques, including paintings, digital artwork and sculpture using bold fabrics and everyday objects.
“The moment I saw Daniil’s work, I felt drawn to it,” said Colleen Maybin, director of performing and fine arts at Douglas College. “The collection has a sense of motion to it, almost like a roadway or a track heading in a specific direction.”
Maybin said abstract art like Next Level will open the door to learning opportunities for students and gallery viewers alike.
“There is no right answer; there is only what they bring to the encounter with the artwork and how they feel in the moment,” Maybin noted. “This approach to learning is also an approach to life.”
Alikov is a self-taught artist based out of Richmond whose work is currently featured in private collections in Monaco, New York and Tokyo. He has also worked as a visual effects artist for movies, including Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2 and Ready Player One.
An opening reception for Next Level is set for Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m., followed by an artist talk with Alikov at 7 p.m. in Room N2203.
The Amelia Douglas Gallery is on the fourth floor north at the Douglas College New West campus, 700 Royal Ave. The exhibit runs until Nov. 23 and will also be open for viewing as part of the New West Cultural Crawl weekend, Oct. 15 and 16.