December 6, 2008 – January 10, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 6, 8-11pm

Merry Karnowsky Gallery
170 South La Brea Avenue (in the Art 170 Building), Los Angeles, California 90036
Contact person:  Merry Karnowsky

Website :

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12-6pm

Viktor Safonkin, Dreams of Eternity, 2007, oil on canvas, 39.5" x 47.25".

Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present the first North American solo exhibition by Russian painter Viktor Safonkin. Safonkin’s surreal paintings deftly explore and expose human emotions ranging from pathos to elation through bizarre and unworldly images that appear to the artist in dreams.
Safonkin’s mastery of perspective, composition, color and anatomy, and his exploration of themes including philosophy, religion, and mythology create incredibly powerful narratives. In Safonkin’s work we see the decline of the individual in an age of a corrupt modern civilization whirling swiftly toward complete urban decline; yet Safonkin continues to search for meaning within the madness and the possibility that man will reclaim his soul and emerge reborn whole.

In the words of artist, producer, and director Terry Gilliam:
"Far too much modern art is intellectually vague, emotionally sterile, abstract and conceptual.... In contrast, Viktor Safonkin's art confronts the human condition head on with powerful mythic images all sumptuously rendered in an unapologetic classical style that reaches back into an ancient past to rub shoulders with the likes of Brueghel and Bosch."

Safonkin won the Salvador Dali prize from the Alliance Salvador Dali International (2000); the Franz Kafka medal from the Franz Kafka European Society (1996); and was an honorary professor of art from the Accademia Internazionale Grecia-Marino, Italy (1999). In 2007, Safonkin had a solo exhibition at the H.R. Giger Museum, Gruyère, Switzerland.  He also participated in the European Parliament exhibition (2007) and the inaugural exhibition of the Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Berlin, Germany, (2008). His work hangs in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fantastic Realism, Zeist, Holland, and the Museo Internationale D’Arte Surrealista, Gallipoli, Italy.
Safonkin’s paintings are featured in Beinart International’s Metamorphosis Volume One – Publication of 50 Surreal & Fantastic Artists, and in the 2008 publication Dreamscapes Three: The Best of Imaginary Realism, by Marcel Salome and Claus Brusen.
For More Information, please contact Merry Karnowsky at
Press Contact, Ellen Thompson

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