Pensive Man Paper Bag PaintingU.S.A, 1998
19 x 9 in (48 x 23 cm)
This creative piece of art uses recycled materials to form a lovely scene and a story. Bokov uses one half of a Dean & Deluca, the iconic SoHo cafe, bag to paint his subject, a man sitting in a cafe, his head resting on his hand. Bokov was known for frequenting cafes in NYC's SoHo neighborhood to paint and sketch strangers. His scenes of daily life are intimate and beautiful, capturing the essence of the neighborhood when it was at the prime of its art scene.
Konstantin Bokov is a Ukranian-American artist with a distinctly New York City influence. Bokov was born in 1940 in Shotska, Ukraine. A love for art ran in his family—his father is the renowned Soviet poet and songwriter Victor Bokov—and at their behest Bokov attended the Art Academy of Leningrad in St. Petersburg to study music. Upon graduating university Bokov moved to Moscow, and it was there that Bokov saw Van Gogh’s painting, Red Sunset. The painting was a transcendent experience, and it convinced Bokov that his future lay not in music but rather visual art. In 1974, Bokov immigrated to New York City and started his art career, creating paintings, found-object sculptures, and public installations. He was a member of the Rivington School, a movement that originated from the East Village art scene of the 80s. Bokov’s art feels like a window into this bygone era of the city, and scenes of everyday city life are common themes in his work.
Throughout his multi-decade art career, Bokov’s art has been shown in multiple galleries in New York. He appeared alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at the Now Gallery. More recently in 2008 his work was featured in the European Outsider Art Fair in Vienna and New York. When discussing inspiration for his art, Bokov has said, “I live from my imagination.” Evidently, Bokov’s imagination has captured the world.
Artist: Konstantin Bokov
Material: Paper Bag