Cover | Valentin Popov
Detail from Looking into . . . (2009, oil on canvas, 48 x 74 inches). Ukrainian-born Valentin Popov, an Oakland resident whose work is featured in museum collections around the world, mixes the academic and the anarchistic in poetic paintings that appear soothing—from a distance. His goal is to simultaneously massage and aggravate; to reassure and cause despair. “In the Water,” Popov’s latest body of work, explores these ideas in relation to the primal medium. Being enveloped by water “has the power to cause you to forget pain, frustrations, worries,” says Popov, “and makes you look deeper into yourself, to meditate, to reflect.” An exhibition of the artist’s current work runs Jan. 14 to Feb. 20 at Modernism gallery in San Francisco, (415) 541-0461 or modernisminc.com, with an opening reception Thursday, Jan. 14, 5:30-8 p.m., 685 Market St., Ste. 290. For more works by Popov, see popov.com.