Invite for exhibition of Philipp Anaskin.
May 12, 2024 0 Artist Spotlight Belinda

Introduction | Philipp Anaskin

A Costa Rican artist of Russian descent, Philipp Anaskin is one of the country’s most exciting young artists, having been awarded the prestigious Francisco Amighetti National Prize for Visual Arts in 2023.

METAMORFOSIS Opening night (free admission) Friday 17 May, 6pm

Exhibition runs until 16 June 2024 Sala X, National Gallery, San José, Costa Rica

Anaskin employs a signature style characterised by bold, loose brushwork that brings dynamic energy to confident figurative paintings. His upcoming exhibition, 'Metamorfosis,' at San José's National Gallery promises to be a transformative experience, as it explores similarities between Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Anaskin’s own exploration of identity and human experience.

At the heart of 'Metamorphosis' lies a unique collaboration with Editorial Costa Rica, where Anaskin's work illustrates the book, breathing new life into Kafka’s timeless classic. This fusion of art and literature invites viewers to engage with Anaskin's work on a deeper level.

Join us as we take a deep dive into Anaskin’s life and work, celebrating his unique artistic vision and marking Costa Rica’s latest ground-breaking exhibition.


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  1. Anaskin's Artistic Vision

Born in Russia in 1988, Anaskin moved to Costa Rica at the age of two, with his family, following the fall of the Soviet Union, alongside his sister Olga Anaskina, who is also an artist represented by MÍRAME Fine Art.

Anaskin's work is a study in contrasts, blending the academic precision of Russian realist painting with the bold, expressive brushstrokes of impressionism. His exploration of identity, family, and memory resonates deeply, reflecting his own journey from Moscow to Costa Rica and the rich experiences that shape his worldview.

His canvases serve as a canvas for his own narratives that emerge from his imagination, echoing the nuances of his personal experiences and cultural heritage.

The Abductors by Philipp Anaskin, featuring a ring of small children wearing dark glasses, the meta sign hovering amongst them, commenting on the children's immersion in the meta universe and disconnection from reality.

Philipp Anaskin, The Abductors, Oil on Fabric

  1. Figurative Narratives

At the heart of Anaskin's compositions lies a fascination with the human form. Through intimate family portraits and enigmatic characters, he constructs narratives that invite viewers to ponder the complexities of the human experience. Each painting is a glimpse into the artist's psyche and the world around him.

"The Abductors," is a thought-provoking painting that captures the whimsical yet ominous essence of childhood innocence and societal introspection.

In the centre of the painting, a ring of small boys adorned with black glasses stand in mesmerized unity. Surrounding them, the grandeur of the museum's interior—with its ornate chandelier and adorned walls—serves as a stark contrast to the children's immersion in the meta universe.

In the middle of the circle lies the meta sign, symbolising the children's complete absorption in their alternate reality, oblivious to the cultural treasures that surround them.

Through this enigmatic juxtaposition, the painting invites viewers to ponder the complexities of societal disconnection and the transformative power of imagination.

La Cena by Philipp Anaskin, featuring a family sitting down to dinner with two naked women lying upside down above. it's unsettling and alarming.

Philipp Anaskin, La Cena, 2022, Oil on fabric. (In the collection of the Museum Calderon Guardia, San José)

"La Cena," is a striking painting housed within the esteemed collection of San José's Calderon Guardia Museum. It depicts a striking tableau of domestic intimacy tinged with provocative symbolism.

Set against the backdrop of a seemingly ordinary family dinner, the painting portrays a spectrum of ages gathered around the table, immersed in the rituals of daily life. Yet, hovering above this familial scene, a red blanket serves as an unexpected canvas for two naked women lying upside down and staring down at the dinner scene.

The women’s provocative poses juxtaposed against the familial warmth below invites viewers to contemplate the interplay between the mundane and the provocative, prompting introspection on themes of tradition, desire, and societal expectations.

  1. Influences and Inspirations

Anaskin's artistic lineage is as eclectic as it is profound, drawing inspiration from the raw and unsettling imagery of masters like Francis Bacon, as well as the somber elegance of Russian Impressionism.

Slaughterhouse painting by Philipp Anaskin, featuring a scantily clad woman sliding down a pole with hanging carcasses of dead animals in the background. The scene is shocking and unsettling.

Philipp Anaskin, Slaughterhouse, Oil on fabric

"Slaughterhouse," a confrontational and disquieting piece, delving into the depths of human experience with unflinching honesty and raw intensity.

In the foreground, a young woman, clad in minimal attire and wearing dark glasses, provocatively descends a stripper pole, her demeanour exuding an air of defiance and sensuality. Behind her, the stark brutality of the slaughterhouse unfolds, with carcasses of animals hanging in grim testament to the cycle of life and death.

This stark interplay of sexuality and brutality serves as a powerful commentary on the complexities of power dynamics and societal norms. Anaskin navigates the realms of darkness and desire, inviting viewers to confront the uncomfortable truths that lie beneath the surface of human existence.

  1. Previewing "Metamorfosis"

Join us for the opening night of "Metamorfosis" at the National Gallery in San José on May 17th at 6pm.

Kafka's seminal work, "The Metamorphosis," serves as the thematic cornerstone of this transformative exhibition. Through the lens of Gregor Samsa's harrowing transformation into an insect, Kafka strips away the veneer of humanity, revealing the anguishing conditioning of societal expectations.

In the suffocating confines of our existence, Kafka's narrative compels us to confront the stark realities of our own lives and the smallness of our dreams amidst patriarchal structures.

Yet, amidst the despair, there lies a glimmer of hope—a reminder of our inherent capacity to reclaim our humanity and find redemption. As tears blur Kafka's vision, he guides us through Samsa's journey, from the shackles of absurdity to the liberating embrace of self-discovery and compassion.

Anaskin's "Metamorfosis" exhibition mirrors Kafka's themes, delving into the depths of social anguish and the alienation of modern life. Through surreal and nightmarish scenarios, both Kafka and Anaskin challenge us to confront our own inner transformations and question the boundaries of reality.

Additionally, in conjunction with the exhibition, Editorial Costa Rica is publishing a new edition of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," illustrated with Anaskin's paintings.

La Reunion by Philipp Anaskin, featuring businessmen in suits with bird heads, evoking themes of transformation and mutation.

Philipp Anaskin, La Reunion, Oil on fabric

A great example of Anaskin’s Kafkaesque influences is "La Reunion", which depicts a surreal and unsettling tableau of businessmen congregating in an interior setting. Their bodies are adorned with bird heads ranging from chickens to various species of tits and finches, with even a fox head among them.

“La Reunion” evokes themes of transformation and mutation, echoing the existential angst portrayed in Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."

The juxtaposition of the mundane setting with the surreal presence of bird-headed figures creates a troubling atmosphere, inviting viewers to contemplate the nature of the meeting and the underlying symbolism of the avian metamorphosis.

Through its dark and enigmatic imagery, "La Reunion" challenges perceptions and delves into the complexities of human nature and identity.


In the ever-changing landscape of contemporary art, Philipp Anaskin is a beacon of innovation and imagination.

Through "Metamorfosis," he invites us to explore the boundaries of possibility, where the lines between reality and imagination distort, but the human spirit soars ever higher.

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