Gregori Maiofis’ work has been influenced by multinational and multicultural concerns as well as his own genetic history. He comes from a family of artists and architects, and he grew up in St. Petersburg, a sophisticated city that is considered the capital of classical museum style. After a brief stint in Los Angeles, during which time he learned new art forms and honed his English language skills, Maiofis returned to his native St. Petersburg, because, as he states, “I can do things here artistically that I couldn’t do anywhere else.”
Proverbs is an ongoing series of photographs in which the artist focuses on universal truths. Using trained circus animals in many of his images – from a gargantuan brown bear to monkeys, dogs, lions and most recently, elephants – in settings absent of artifacts or other cultural information, Maiofis offers visually poignant, strike to the heart-of-the-matter images. (His latest work, Closed Mouth Catches No Flies, was an image that Maiofis had visualized very early on, but it wasn’t until years later that he finally met a lion tamer who, as part of his performance, actually puts his head in the mouth of a lion.)
Maiofis’ work has has been the subject of solo exhibitions across Russia, Europe, and the United States. His work is included in the permanent collections in many museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Novy Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California.
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Nazraeli Press 2014. Hardcover 52 Pages, 26 duotone plates. Signed copies available.
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