Leonid Purygin (1951-1995)
Leonid Anatolevich Purygin, a Russian artist, master painter, representative of ‘Art Brut’ in whose creative work this style was finally ‘rehabilitated’ in Russia. He was self-taught. Stylistically, the creativity of Purygin can be classified as primitive, originating in the Russian popular print. The artist created his mythological system with fantastical characters and no less mysterious narrations. His individual style spawned many imitators. In his pictures, earth and sky represent a single element: everything is moving around, everything is brimming with life, active and even somehow intrusive. People, plants, animals, insects, birds, angels…In the universal oneness of the world, the artist sees the pledge of the synthesis of love, external womanhood and beauty. At the centre of these mythologies is always the creator himself, surrounded by corporeal phantoms, amongst which the form of the ‘Blue Woman-Angel’ is always dominant, frequently saving the creator from hell; her antipode is ‘Purygin’s Pipe’, a mythical animal but of a female gender. The compositions, with psychedelically strong colours radiating out from a background of the darkness of space, over time grew larger, turning into altars-reliquaries comprising many parts. Inscriptions with self-commentaries play a large role in these items. In the 1990’s, Leonid Purygin published three books of prose, written in the style of a ‘stream of consciousness’, set out in a similar fashion to blank verse (Hrenovini, Miniromani, 1990; Mosmicheskaya Durochka, 1993l Publiya, 1993).