Maxim Wakultschik’s artistic practice testifies to an extraordinary curiosity as well as to an eagerness to experiment with different techniques and materials. The artist, who trained in painting, repeatedly breaks with the classical concept of the image; an expansion beyond the two-dimensional into the object-like can be discerned.
For his Optical Portraitsseries, begun in the mid-2010s, Wakultschik chooses hand-colored toothpicks as source material and creates female faces full of grace. They are ideal typical female figures that, with titles such as Karmentisor Nemea,refer to Greek mythology – the world of nymphs and nereids.
Each work is based on meticulous digital preparatory work. Algorithms simulate the motif – composed of a multitude of small dots – on the screen. Wakultschik’s approach is reminiscent of the production of a raster graphic, with the difference being that each pixel is replaced, so to speak, by a toothpick precisely inserted on a KAPA plate. Depending on the format, up to 100 000 color-nuanced wooden sticks are used.
Wakultschik explores the interaction between space and texture, color and light, with the intention of irritating our optical perception: “Through crystalline, luminous and radiant artworks that express my passion for both structures and irregularities, I point to the limits and infinite possibilities of the viewer’s visual and perceptual potential” (Maxim Wakultschik 2020). His works call for movement. The slightest change of location, taking a different perspective, leads to striking new impressions and discoveries, which increases the work’s appeal and liveliness.
Maxim Wakultschik was born in Minsk in 1973 and completed his studies of free art at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie under Beate Schiff and Jannis Kounellis. His works can be seen regularly in exhibitions and at art fairs around the globe. He has received numerous awards for his artistic work. Wakultschik lives and works in Düsseldorf.