Despite the gloom and doom of recent years, when so many galleries in London had to close down, it is a pleasure to watch this tendency countered and witness a gallery opening. And it is a double pleasure to realise that the newly established gallery is launched by Olga Lomaka — a London-based artist with Russian roots. Not wishing to limit herself to a solely artistic career, Lomaka ventures out into the world of collecting and gallery ownership, and brings an array of artists into a vibrant contemporary space in the heart of Fitzrovia. The Lomaka Gallery seeks to promote an international set of contemporary artists based solely on their artistic merit, talent and ability. The gallery will work with both, emerging and established, artists producing quality art. In fact, the approach of the gallery seems to be quite democratic, embracing the works by artists of different ages and origins, across various media, styles and art forms. As commented by the Ikon magazine, “having previously collaborated with Harper Bazaar Art and Vogue Fashion’s Night project, Olga is taking art seriously and with business acumen”. However, without relinquishing the artistic values and concerns.
It is too early to say which direction the gallery will eventually take, but the selection of the artists for the opening night was rather telling: TP Hardisty – an already established British – Swiss artist with his own following ( earlier this year GQ magazine listed his art among 5 ‘must see’ artworks at the LAF 2017); Albeiro Tomedes – an emerging artist from the Colombian Amazon area, and a graduate of the University of Arts, London; the Tvorogov Brothers – Aleksey and Anton, the twins from Russia and ART.WHO.ART prize winners, who explore the anthropomorphism in images. Their internimals series featured the loveliest pug dogs imaginable, and seemed to
draw quite a lot of attention throughout the evening. And, actually, two of them sold on the opening night. The exposition also featured two works by Olga Lomaka herself from her Artefacts series and a video installation by actress and artist Olya Mareva reciting a moving poem about the loss of a loved one amidst the profusely falling snowflakes. The work was dedicated to her late father who passed away a year ago.
Despite the fact that each represented artist had his/ hers own distinctive style, the exposition was intelligently arranged into sections, where one set of works seemed to enter into the dialogue with another. The tongue-in-cheek take on Munch’s Cry or the Robber Duck made out of colourful rubber ducks by T.P. Hardisty harmoniously co-existed with the serene meditating pugs of the Tvorogov Brothers. At the same time, the moody, impasto paintings – reliefs and installations by Albeiro Tomedes exploring the conflict between the civilization and pristine natural world, resonated with Olga Lomaka’s sculptures, questioning the vapidity of consumerist values.
The gallery opened on 26th April, the preview took place on 25th and was extremely well-attended. The event was organised with the communication agency FashionPRBuro and supported by TV channel FashionTV. As a result, one could rub shoulders with designers, stylists, TV presenters, models and actors who came to celebrate the opening of the gallery with Olga. It was a buzzing international mix of people: a gallery owner Benjamin Fry, art consultant Ariane Belisle, a contemporary art gallery director Marina Shtager, a financier and art patron David Gigauri, artist Natasha Arendt, the star of Shakespeare’s Diaries Malcolm Modele, art critic Sasha Burkhanova, jewellery and clothes designer Joshua Kane, creative duo Joe Wolfe and Johan Labassa. designers Margarita and Alyona Prykhodko of Sybarite Jewellery, a well-known TV presenter and fashion blogger Prince Cassius, stylist Verna Taylor-Barker, designer Cynthia Conran, hat designer Maria Zherebtsova and many, many others.
It is by all means a very interesting artistic and art business undertaking, and we shall closely follow its further development.
The current exhibition will run until 30th April.