Flora by Maxim Fomenko
4 min

"The Future is Female": Sarcasm and Sensuality in the Art of Maxim Fomenko

4 min

"I feel that it is important for my pictures to put viewers in a position where they have to think independently, rather than just seeing what I was thinking," – such is the approach of a modern Russian-born painter and sculptor Maxim Fomenko. Nevertheless, certain associations evoked by the apparent influence of Dali, Picasso, Bacon, and the colorful pop-art aesthetics make viewers less independent in their conclusions. Anyway, the love-hate relationship of Fomenko with modern art, which he is a part of, is pretty amusing to watch.

 Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 1. instagram.com/fomenico

 Maxim Fomenko artist photo

Fig. 2. blancmagazine.com

 Flora by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 3. Flora (saatchiart.com)

Black Bird by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 4. Black Bird (saatchiart.com)

 Black BirdII by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 5. Black Bird 2 (instagram.com)

 Picasso with his girlfriend painting

Fig. 6. Picasso with his girlfriend (saatchiart.com)

 Picasso’s Affair by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 7. Picasso’s Affair (Instagram.com)

 Picasso’s Girlfriend by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 8. Picasso’s Girlfriend (saatchiart.com)

 Picasso’s Model by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 9. Picasso’s Model (saatchiart.com)

 Picasso’s Widow by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 10. Picasso’s Widow (saatchiart.com)


A son of a painter, Maxim Fomenko was born in Pyatigorsk, Russia (North Caucasian Federal District), in 1981. At the age of 22, having accomplished his graphic design studies in Russia, he moved to Nuremberg. Several years later, Fomenko enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts and, in 2012, attained a Master's degree in Painting. Since then, he has been a freelance artist whose works can be found in open and private collections across Europe and the USA. The artist's portfolio counts at least two solo exhibitions and seven group shows.

 Homage to Bacon by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 11. Homage to Bacon (saatchiart.com)

 Frida Kahlo’s Nightmare by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 12. Frida Kahlo’s Nightmare (saatchiart.com)

 Inspired by Matisse by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 13. Inspired by Matisse (Instagram.com)

Techniques and Ideas

Visually referring to expressionism and surrealism, Fomenko uses the traditional technique of "layer painting" with broad oil brushstrokes on the acrylic base. As for the ideas of the paintings, Fomenko's favorite topics are human culture and the subconscious. Interviewed in 2020, the artist claimed he was working on the Deep Down series. As he said, the portraits were inspired by the Body Experiments of Marina Abramovic. While Abramovic was standing in front of the audience for six hours as a live toy, the approach of Fomenko is not so radical: the artist represents the human soul as a dark abyss, using his standard means. Yet the result is still pretty disturbing, despite the vibrant colors, untypical for Bacon.

 Deep Down by Maxim Fomenko

Fig. 14. Deep Down (blancmagazine.com)

Complex Presentiment: Half-Figure in Yellow Shirt, 1931

Fig14a. Complex Presentiment: Half-Figure in Yellow Shirt, 1931 (Wikipedia.org)

In the extended Premium edition more on the crime and punishment theme in some of Fomenko's paintings, references to Dostoevsky, Courbet and Picasso, an analysis of Fomenko's painting The Future Is Female, a comparison between his Black Cat drawings and Kuniyoshi's notorious shunga scene depicting a rape, the "male gaze" theory and 56 additional images.

Click HERE for the barbaric sensuality in paintings of Picasso's successor Francis Newton Souza

Sources: blancmagazine.com (webcache.googleusercontent.com); instagram.com/fomenico; saatchiart.com

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