Alexey Parygin

Russian painter

Alexey Borisovich Parygin [Алексе́й Бори́сович Па́рыгин] (b. December 2, 1964, Leningrad). His father Boris Parygin was a social psychologist. Soviet and Russian artist, philosopher, art historian, art theorist and curator. Author of many artist's books, including: Pesok (The Sand), Tsvetnye zvuki (The Coloured Sounds), Zelenaia kniga (The Green Book), Moia mansarda (My Attic) was created in 1989-1990 at the Nevsky-25 squat workshop (Leningrad) on the basis of the artist’s own poetic texts, the free-verse poems of 1987-1989. Author of philosophical art projects: Contemplation of Money (1998), Art is a Business (2000), Art in the Forest (2005), City as an Artist's Subjectivity (2020), Posturbanism Project (2010-2022).

'Portrait of Alexey Parygin', by his art-friend Alexander Pavlovsky, 2021
Shine. 2018. paper, watercolor
Lines and Dots. Work in progress. Wall painting. SPb. 2018
Artist's book / Title page spread / Al. Parygin Tsvetnye zvuki (Colored Sounds). 1989


  • A big city is always partially a Babylon, sometimes an eclectic mixture, juxtaposing contrasts, dialogue and conflict all at once. It is a Unity achieved thanks to our differences. It contains both old and new things. A city without development is dull. A city deprived of its historical context is uninteresting. Moreover, a city without clear urban planning ideas is a toneless backwater.
    • Alexey Parygin A City as the Artist's Subjectivity // Book Arts Newsletter. — No. 140. Bristol: CFPR (Centre for Fine Print Research). University of the West of England. 2021, July — August. — P. 46.
  • Megalopolises. Plans. Building plans. Yellow. Street lineature. Labyrinths of yards. Pigeon flocks. Green. The geometry of squares. Dead zones. Subway burrows. Red. Meaning signs. Dim light. Noise. Voids. Black. The work transformed itself in the process of manifestation. The pictograms appeared almost by accident — naturally. Text: Parking / Diner / Bird / Airport / Disabled / Attention / Parking / Motel / Bar / Attention / Cat / Bird / Diner ... Recoded, literally: art, like all modern culture, lost its clear value criteria, meaning and purpose of movement long ago. City. One of the main problems of modern society is the almost complete loss of the ability to self-cognition and self-identification. City. Civilization is degrading. The agony still continues, maintaining the illusion of life, but it does not change the merits of the question. City.
    • Alexey Parygin City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 121.

Quotes about Alexey Parygin

  • Another important direction in contemporary Russian artists’ books, with many precedents set by the Futurists, is the fusion of poetic and artistic talent of artist-authors blessed with Doppelbegabung. The intimate relationships between text and image is enhanced when author and artist are one and the same person and engage in an inter-art discourse that leads to creations that are truly unified works of art. An artist who achieved equal mastery in more than one medium and made different arts merge in his personality was no doubt Alexey Parygin. His poetic collections <...> represent an attempt to synthesize text and plastic figurative form in books where literary and visual languages are calculated to have a simultaneous effect on the reader/viewer. The work of Alexey Parygin have common features that are not accidental as the books were created at more or less the same time.
  • ...from my point of view, a very serious, worthy and professional exhibition. It's nice that there is a solid culture of color, ...there is a persistent desire to express their feelings of life, their artistic vision.
    • Mikhail German Equinox II / Booklet for the exhibition. — St. Petersburg, 2003. (Rus)
  • His works show high culture, erudition and taste, it is hard to favor any particular piece. Moreover, the artist prefers options on a particular plastic theme, as he himself puts it. He uses various in techniques, and revisits it in different periods of creativity. He believes his plastic theme conveys the plastic state. The state arises and manifests in very different ways, yet retaining its basic sign. Perhaps this art form blends both the sign and its notion.
    • Nikolay Blagodatov Art is a search, search is an art // St. Petersburg: Neva (magazine), № 2, 2002. — P. 254. (Rus)
  • The works create new poetry, which involuntarily rivals with habitual esthetic stereotypes. For instance, we accept as a common notion to worship joyously the classic beauty of St. Petersburg, its harmony and stately grandeur. This exposition does have variations of that sort. But observe “Night Nevsky” by Parygin. Rough to the touch texture, dark abyss. In the darkness urgent lights explode. They bring forth immediate spiritual angst. One does not regard the regal magnificence of the urban landscape-it is neither cast aside, nor left behind the curtains, as dramatism of modern perception takes over. One regards not a city museum for curious crowds, but one beholds the habitat of our days where we seek, love, fight, suffer. That art defines perception.


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