Viktoria Polikarpova Gallery Viewing

You are now in the gallery viewing for the artwork of Viktoria Polikarpova, owner of Visionis Phosphoresecent. These works were selected by her, with descriptions written by the artist herself, not the site. Works appear in the order she requested. All artwork is introduced with title, followed by the media used to create it. Please note that no links to bands or anything else are provided here, this is entirely to present her work and own words.

 

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1. Title: ''Julius Caesar Bust'' Media: A3, pencils.

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This piece is an example of classic academic drawing, the level of which we had to achieve to pass through the entrance exams for the Moscow Architectural Institute. These classes of classic drawing helped me a lot with improving my skills in anatomy, perspective, light and shadow.

 

2. Title: "Landscape in the Mountains after the Storm"  Media: Digital Art, Photoshop

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Having some experience in classic painting I also tried to experiment with digital painting using the art tablet Wacom. It is comfortable because you can remove your mistakes any time and work on one fragment as long as needed without any worries. Here, I was specifically trying to work on the atmosphere and aerial perspective. This landscape is an imagined one but I took the inspiration from the spring weather, when snow is about to melt.

 

3. Title: "Black Rock with the Stars" Media: Digital Art, Photoshop Matte Painting

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This is an experiment with matte painting – a composition of photos and digital painting via Wacom tablet. This art was partly inspired by Lovecraft's universe and partly by some own visionary experience about invisible source of water coming down on the black rock from nowhere in the lonely night landscape. Looking back I just realized that it is very similar to the milk offering on the Shiva Lingam.

 

4. Title: ''Black Sun" and "Chant" (Forgotten Collection) Media: Pencil, Black Tea, Fire

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Swedish black metal band Flame Acausal chose two of my art pieces from the ''Forgotten'' collection for the design of their EP Contra Mundum in Aeternum (vinyl edition) which was released by Psychedelic Lotus Order lable in 2016.

''Forgotten'' is an art collection, which include simple and fast pencil drawings evolved from basic automatic sketches which I was made during meditative sessions. The final work represent unconscious images and visions, veil of dreams and fantasies, which are mostly based on H.P. Lovecraft's stories.

I employed an interesting technique for this collection. Besides simple pencil illustrations, I also used black tea to achieve a 'parchment' texture, and fire to burn paper from the sides.

''Black Sun'' and ''Charms'' originally are very small pieces (14,5x14,5 cm and 12,5x18,5 cm respectively). There is an interesting story behind these arts. Surprisingly these two pieces matched each other! The protuberances of the 'Black Sun' juxtaposed accurately with ''energy waves'' of the ''Charms'', much to my liking.

 

5. Title: "Black Sulfur and Aqua Permanens" Media: Pencil, Tea, Fire

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This piece reflects some of my thoughts on Western Alchemy and how it can describe different stages of spiritual path.

Here you can see a bulb with the water and black fire inside. The bulb is broken and the fire goes out. This fire represents Sulfur and water is an analogy for Aqua Permanens. You may see their alchemical symbols on the left side of the artwork.

I was trying to reflect that Sulfur, usually associated with the Will, could become an uncontrolled power which can destroy the bulb (- the body of the Adept). It should be in balance with the Water – only in this case Fire would not be dangerous. Nowadays we can see a wide popularity with the Sulfur symbol which people connect with Luciferian cults. It's all fine until it is out of balance. After that the spiritual process can go ''below'' and be transformed into self-destruction and degenerative tendencies. That's why you can see that the Philosophical stone symbol is inverted, which means that the entire spiritual quest has failed. Unfortunately, we can see the examples of how people fail in their spiritual quest often enough. And in most of the cases this is because of the wrong correspondence between Supreme Will and simple egoistic wishes. The best example here is that how often Thelemic statement ''Do what thou wilt'' is twisted and confused.

 

6. Title: ''Bitter Sea of Binah'' Media: Pencil

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This piece is also a symbolical analogy of some aspects of the spiritual path. Here is a summary: Leaden way of Saturn will bring you to the acid waters of Scorpio and this bottomless abyss will erode your Self till the bones. All the flesh will go away, all the thoughts about yourself will disappear. There will be no Self, no Space, no Dimensions, just Absolute Nothing. Non-Existence will continue in Eternity, until the dawn of the Black Moon comes. And then She, the Lilith, will rise you up above the bitter sea of Binah.

 

7. Title: ''Embers of You'' Media: Pencil

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This is one which I made with simple pencils for the new single of Indian funeral doom band Dormant Inferno. The entire scene of the art represent the themes of the song: separation of the lovers and the death of the beloved one. It was my wish to draw  a funeral pyre keeping in the mind that cremation is the traditional funeral ritual in India. The band had released their single via Transcending Obscurity Records.

 

8. Title: ''Yogini'' Media: Stippling

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This piece was my first experience in the stippling technique and it went viral quite quickly. The yogini which is depicted here is a Tantric adept meditating on the top of a mountain. She is depicted without any symbols which could have helped to recognise her tradition, lineage and so on. I did that deliberately. I wanted to draw a character which will reflect the entire Vamachara (left-hand-path) historical movement of medieval Himalayan region and give the 'vibes' of the real Tantra which has nothing to do with nowadays 'yoga-centres' or New Age 'tantric sex' degeneracy.

 

9. Title: "Chöd Practitioner" Media: Stippling

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''Chöd Practitioner'' is my first serious stippling work. It took me more than a month of constant everyday work to complete it and I still consider this art as one of my best ones. The main character here is an adept who is performing a Chöd ritual. This ritual is a part of popular mystical practice originated in XI century in Tibet by yogini Machig Labdron. The main idea of the ritual is cutting through the attachments by offering your own body to the demons and the ghosts. Hence the human body is the most precious thing and is something all of us attached to much this ritual is considered to be extremely powerful and serious.

There is also a profane belief that a Chöd practitioner has to be a powerful magician who is dealing with demons, and many people often confuse Chöd rituals with a kind of Tibetan demonology, something close to European Goetic magic, because they think that both the rituals are about subduing the demons. But this is wrong. Chöd practice is only about cutting through the Ego, not about violence.

The creatures on the background are Chitipati, 'Lords of the charnel grounds'. As the twin protectors of cemeteries they subjugate all the vicious and malevolent demons, ghosts and spirits that can spiritually hinder practitioners, through the power of their tantric activities of pacifying, enriching, subjugating, slaying, exorcising, paralyzing, bewildering, and causing enmity.

The Chöd practitioner holds the kangling, - a traditional human leg bone trumpet, the sound of which invokes the spirits around for the ''feasts''. On a more innate level, it also symbolises the severance of the Ego or ''I''. Vajra and the Bell are two important traditional items which are used in all Vajrayana (Buddhist tantra) practices. Damaru is a ritual drum traditionally made from two human skulls: male and female, but in Chöd practice a large double-sided hand held damaru is used which is made of wood .

Chöd practice along with all the Buddhist Tantric traditions inspire me a lot. I got most of the information about them through my travels and researches in India and by reading good academic and religious texts on the subject.

Visual inspiration came to me through the Russian group Phurpa's live rituals. I visited quite a few of them in Moscow and I know the leader of the band Alexey Tegin personally. We had a lot of talks on the subjects during which Alexey shared with me some of his own insights.

 

10. Title: "Buckriders" Media: Stippling, Watercolor Shading

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The work for Cirith Gorgor was my first serious underground metal project. The concept of their release is based on the dark and mysterious Dutch legends of the XVIII century about Buckriders, groups of thieves and other criminals who had dedicated their lives to Satan. My task was to represent a scene of the night sky with the buckriders flying in the moonlight.

To achieve the atmosphere I also checked a lot of historical references connected to the clothing of that bygone era and other stylistic details. In this art I also decided to experiment with the technique. The basic stippling here is supported with watercolor shading what helped to make the perspective deeper.

 

11. Title: "The Great Churning" Media: Stippling, Watercolor Shading

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"The Great Churning'' is one of the art pieces for the design of Greek occult black metal band Acherontas's re-issue of their third album Vamachara. The concept of the album is extremely close to my own interests and researches, so this opportunity was indeed special to me.

With this art I decided to highlight some aspects of real Indian tantric cults which are much more interesting and brutal than the pop-culture fetishism of Kali and Shiva, especially in the underground metal scene and syncretic New Age western esotericism.

Early Medieval Era in India was a Golden period of vast number of different tantric movements. The main approach in all of them was based on the transgressive rituals which were including direct interaction with such 'impure' spheres of existence as death and sex. We can get an idea about these rituals through different tantras, especially through famous Brahmayamala Tantra.

The description of the ritual which inspired me for this art I found in Judit Törzösk's paper called 'Kapalikas'. In this work she made a proper research on movement of Kapalikas and it's influence on the other tantric cults, especially the cult of Yoginis. Here she examinates Brahmayamala Tantra specifically.

"A cluster of chapters (46-48), the same ones that also prescribe the mahāvrata and promise possession by Bhairava, describe cremation-ground practices that could well come, at least partly, from the Soma-Kāpālikas... The first of these chapters (46) is called Mahāmanthāna (The Great Churning). The churning is performed in the cremation ground and preceded by a worship of nine skulls arranged on a maṇḍala and filled with blood, alcohol (madirā) and the mingled sexual fluids (picu)...The rite mainly consists of acting out the cosmic churning of gods and demons in its cremation-ground version... The practitioner in fact prepares his own Soma of impure substances in a vessel called sthālī."

 

12. Title "वामाचार'' ("Vamachara") Media: Watercolors

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"Vamachara'' is the coloured version of "The Great Churning" with the similar scene composition and meaning. This colored version was decided to be used as the cover art and the black and white version of it was used inside the gatefold as the underlayer for the lyrics.

Here I tried to achieve the style of medieval Indian miniatures. Specific colors, simple frame and handwriting of the title are made in the same style as it was back in the centuries.

 

13. Title: "Chöd Logo" Media: A4, Ink

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Besides making art I also like to design logos for different bands. After uploading my ''Chöd practitioner'' art I got in touch with the members of the Ukranian band ''Chöd'' who asked me to draw a logo for them. The pleasure was all mine and I made this logo using the bones to create a special font. In the sketches there was a version with the ritual chopper ''kartari'', but ultimately the band decided to keep a minimalistic version for their project.

 

14. Title: ''Violent Upheaval Logo'' Media: A4, Ink

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This is the logo for USA-Indian death-metal project Violent Upheaval. This work also was very special. We decided to keep it in military style so I created a font based on bullets and other military devices. I made a proper line drawing carefully coping every detail from actual drawings of the weapons which I found online.

 

15. Title: ''Portrait of a Tibetan Ngakpa Lama'' Media: Pencil

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This is the first portrait of the series of portraits of the real people whom I meet during my travels which I'm planning to continue further.

This man is a Tibetan ngakpa lama, which means that he is a lay lama, a non-monastic practitioner of Highest Buddhist Tantra and Dzogchen. I drew him in realistic style, but all the details of the art such as Sun and the Moon, tiger mat, items which the lama holds in his hands and so on are drawn here according to the classical Tibetan iconography. All of them have deep meaning and tell a lot about lama's level of realization. I was also fortunate enough to take private teachings from him.

 

16. Title: "Cave of Vajravarahi" Media: Stippling, Water Ink

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This piece was inspired by my pilgrimage to Sikkim, which is by far the most mystical state which I have visited in India so far. It is renowned for numerous sacred places connected to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Among the sacred sites which I visited there, I was mostly impressed with the 'Secret Cave of the Dakinis', or the 'Khandro Sangphug'. According to the local beliefs, the 8th century Indian mahasiddha Guru Padmasambhava where he meditated and subdued the local demons. The surface of the rocks which form the cave are considered to have a supernatural origin. The cave also has strange patterns of lines which are called 'Dakini Script' by locals. At the entrance of the cave there is an amazing bas relief of the deity Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo), which is highly revered by locals. I was so enchanted by its majestic splendour that I decided to portray it via art.

 

Arranged and Edited by Stanley Stepanic