Jesus is a frequent guest in Konstantin's paintings. Not certain where this sighting was, but the wall in the background looks like the one around the Kremlin. Konstantin is not much of a church-goer, but he identifies with Jesus' asceticism. To him, art and nature are daily miracles and a direct link to the spiritual.



Konstantine loves fishing. If you run into him and want a good topic for smalltalk (forget about sports!) you can reliably get him started on fishing. He'll tell you about how, when he was young, he would get up before dawn with his father and brother to go fishing. The whole time they would be super quiet, barely even saying a word to each other, so they wouldn't scare off the fish. This is why they'd actually catch some, unlike certain loud idiots who never caught anything. It's been a while since I've heard him tell it, but you get the idea. Before he found art, fishing was his great love.



© 1973   Konstantin Bokov
A typical town in Russia during the 1970s. I'm once again amazed at the sheer variety of styles Konstantin has explored during his long and prolific career as an artist. The delicate, dreamy painting you see here was made by the same artist who makes space aliens out of plastic bottles and playful, folksy paintings of birds watering flowers.

Sorry, no Google Streetview for this one ;-)


Old Folks

© 1972 Konstantin Bokov
A few days ago, my mother came to visit and brought a family photo album. Among photos that are treasures just to us, I found a few that you might enjoy. The original paintings are still in Russia because he created them before he immigrated to the US. These must be among the oldest Bokov paintings findable on the web. I have three more, which will be the subject of the next three posts.


Bird, watering flowers.

What kind of bird? Nobody knows. Maybe a penguin wearing a Hussar uniform? Maybe a crow? Like a number of other pieces from his Recycling Art series, this one hung for a while on a wrought iron fence in a tiny, nameless park at the corner of Pinehurst and West 181st Street in Washington Heights. If it had been hanging there at the time the Google van passed by, you would have seen it somewhere near the middle of the StreetView image (below), to the right of the landing on the stone staircase. Washington Heights was Konstantin Bokov's haunt for a long time, and now I can talk more freely about specific places because he has moved.

By the way, funny story about his guerilla park exhibits-- according to him, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has started securing the art he has hung on some of their fences with special wire in order to discourage theft and vandalism. Does this mean that the Parks and Recreation people no longer consider his art itself to be vandalism? If so, this is a small victory for the respectability of street art. And the writing is on the wall, so to speak, for you collectors of street art-- keep your eyes open and grab it while you can because it's only a matter of time before they bring out the plexiglass and motion detectors!

Update: smaginnis11565 on Flickr has posted a few photos of Konstantin's art at that very spot.

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Bridge Cafe

© 2009 Konstantin Bokov
The Bridge Cafe, Water Street, New York. By the way, a while ago the Russian-American art site Ycrop ran an article about him (here is the English translation) with a number of works that are not on this blog. Have a look!

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