1970 -1990 He searches for himself.
1990-2005 He finds himself.
2010 -2020 he loses himself.
When I met him in his atelier, Oleg Kroshkin told me, I am the greatest painter in Belarus, referring to the opinion of Art critics from Vitebsk, he was returning then from a successful exhibition he had in Tretyakov’s gallery of Moscow.
Oleg Kroshkin had an unique position amongst his peers of the second school of Vitebsk.
(the first being Ecole de Paris, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, Ossip Zadkine, Jacques Lipchitz, Ossip Lubitch all from Belarus. Despite the insecurities that otherwise plagued any artists, Oleg Kroshkin had already formed an arrogant successful stature of a Pop Art Artist, having his works in Tretyakov Gallery, New Brunswick, New York, Koln museums and international collectors, having a queue for his works.He was always sad, even he felt a deep emotion when having realized an artwork, his life and work together embody contradictions, he was driven by success, but as artist he resolved often his anxieties into the alcohol.
His personality didn’t t disturb me, I understood he was violently rebel against mediocrity and this caused him irritation and unpredictable panic in his life. Myths, facts, fiction in Kroshkin’s life and work, there was room for spiritual transformation, for natural ingenuity, for obscenity of money for indifferent disdain and for the denunciation of oppression and readiness to hold power up to ridiculous, with a lot of creativity.He listened carefully to the sounds of pop music, rap and jazz he worked here and there on sketch papers, immaculated his canvases with last newspapers.
He could be described as with his amusing creativity and his buffoon’s instinct as a creative genius. A genius loaded with chronic repulsion of himself, specially after the death of his brother, returning from Moscow, after a visit to him. He got then lost of interest for a while of painting and he declined. Despite some prominent works, his art dimmed essentially along with him, blinking out to his death in October 2020.He felt with period of sometimes terribly depressed but his creativity then of his pop art was exceptional and proved to him some consolation.
But his fitful absence gradually toward him to the repetition or a variation of the classic drip works. In his painting emerges a great, transmitted burst of a shamelessly ambitious excess, mixed with frustration and anger. Today Oleg Kroshkin is a myth, his pop works revitalised him, he teaches us through his works, sarcasm, love, family, sex, religion, oppression, things considered as extremely important. He died giving us a perception that provide the illusion of control necessary to survival.