Doctor Alexander Kanevsky’s fame looks certain to spread. The Russian-born and U.S. based physician is a man of numerous talents: A surgical oncologist and practitioner of alternative medicine, he is also a poet, a playwright, a novelist, a scholar and a sculptor.
It is his work as a painter that has garnered the highest accolades, however. His vast creative output shows him to be a Modern Master of a painter.
Whereas most postmodern painters have rejected the artistic movements of the past several centuries, Dr. Kanevsky’s artistic style is a fusion of the high renaissance art of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Indeed, Dr. Kanevsky’s male figures are highly evocative of Michelangelo. Kanevsky’s paintings also evoke the romanticism of William Blake, the surrealism of Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Edward Burro, Fauvist impressionism and German expressionism -- all with a modern and wholly visionary slant. Kanevsky’s visual signature is one of deeply-pigmented colors that indicate multiple applications of paint, and short brushstrokes.
Given his multi-disciplinary talents and skills, Doctor Kanevsky is undoubtedly a modern-day Renaissance Man. Artistically, his creative corpus contains works of various sizes. However, many are expansive, multi-layered compositions, strong on symbolism and of a broad and far-reaching range of subject matter that serve to demonstrate Dr. Kanevsky’s multi-dimensional character.
Indeed, it seems to be Dr. Kanevsky’s depth of character and range of experiences that provide the themes and give shape and form to the contents of his artwork. His medical training and practice appears to inform his paintings because the themes deal with death, disease, suffering, dysmorphism, aging, the psyche and the human condition to reach an opposition of Eros and love. In his poem, Pigeons and Rats, Kanevsky writes ‘that from this art originated my medicine.’ We could say that from this medicine originated his art! The swollen limbs that are so pervasive in his art could be interpreted as the swollen limbs that accompany liver and other cancers -- the very cancers that an oncologist treats.
Death and dismemberment are recurring and binding motifs. Indeed, death is something of a leitmotif in his artistic outputthat is able, in a realm of the very same captured moment, to transform the entire theme into a power of healing, passion and evocative glory.
Other themes such as existential torment and transmogrification could point to the hallucinatory effects of medicine and drugs. Users of certain prescription and non-prescription drugs often report vivid, surreal and bizarre dreams. Could it be that some of the scenes of terror that he depicts are a commentary on modern dependence on drugs? We do know that Dr. Kanevsky is a proponent of alternative medicine and natural healing. His paintings are strong on symbolism and some can be construed as allegorical in nature.
Dr. Kanevsky is a man science and a man of faith, and there are Biblical themes aplenty in his paintings. Fragmented and conflicted scenes are sometimes attended by a celestial presence, and figures often look skyward. How do we interpret them? Kanevsky uses creative license to ask the questions. Can we answer them?
In many of his paintings, the themes are juxtaposed to depict nightmarish scenes that are at once powerful, shocking, horrific, engaging, controversial and challenging. Whatever the response that may be elicited from the spectator, one thing is certain: the paintings are unforgettable!
Obviously highly-educated and intelligent, Dr. Kanevsky’s imagination seemingly knows no bounds. William Blake, the Romantic poet and painter held that imagination has far greater importance over slavish imitation of nature.
It could be argued that imagination is the highest form of intelligence, in which case Dr. Kanevsky’s imagination transcends the ordinary and the dull to achieve extraordinary expression via his paintings, sculptures and writings. Kanevsky’s works are a window into his mind. It is the mind of a bold, fascinating and outstandingly talented man.