The Cheerfully Dark Social Criticism of the Digital Artist Waldemar Kazak (103 pics!)
25 september 2020 
64 min. read

The Cheerfully Dark Social Criticism of the Digital Artist Waldemar Kazak (103 pics!)

The digital Lowbrow artist Waldemar Kazak (aka. Waldemar von Kozak) is, as his pseudonym suggests, from Russia. Born in Tver in 1973, he graduated at the age of 22 from the Tver Art College earning a degree in graphic design. Kazak then worked for several studios and publishers while learning the Quark XPress and Aldus Page Maker programs. Presently, he is a freelancer who works for magazines and advertising agencies.

Kazak’s style can be described as dark, socially conscious satire. His universe often presents a dystopian future, as a result to the abuse of today’s reality and the excessiveness offered in the new millennium. The artist effortlessly mixes styles, genres, and subjects for example there are sarcastic references to Walt Disney (Fig.2) and Instagram (Fig.8) but also an ode to Mary Poppins and René Magritte (Fig.19). Recurring fascinations are fantasy cars (Fig.3), archaic fighter planes (Fig.7, 30 and 65), and rockets (Fig.1, 5, 50 and 51).

Influences can be found in the femme fatales of the American illustrator Robert Maguire (Fig.17 and 18), the use of light and composition of the American realist painter Edward Hopper (Fig.39 and 61), the cover illustrations of daily life by Norman Rockwell, but also in an European Baroque master as Peter Paul Rubens (see Fig.32 and 33).

Waldemar von Kozak

Fig.1. ‘Task complete‘ (2019)

His strong sense of atmosphere and mood is wonderfully captured in gloomier works as ‘After Party‘ (Fig.21) ‘Melancholy‘(Fig.31), ‘Loneliness‘ (Fig.40), and ‘Hump and Dump‘(Fig.59), and Kazak’s social engagement is reflected in the reproachful gaze of the washed-up red-haired mermaid leaning on a rusty oil barrel (Fig. 63).

The artist describes his art as a satirical view of everyday life with caricatural elements. “Life constantly provides food for thought and new ideas. It is difficult to carry ideas in itself – they ask outside. Sometimes so quickly that quality of drawing suffers,” he explains in an interview with Pinup Arena (unfortunately no longer online).

Kazak is not only a great technician who works in different styles but he also knows how to stimulate the viewer with his imagery. As with all good art there’s more to it than meets the eye. Look for instance at the painting entitled ‘Heart’s Shop‘ (Fig.55). As the viewer we watch the scene from an unusual perspective ..as if we are secretly spying on them from underneath the counter. In the background we see heart-shaped recesses in the wooden wall. At first glance, you might think these are heart-shaped pillows but if we look closer then the contours of the female buttocks of the so-called “scarlet ladies” (prostitutes) become visible through the dresses. One of the females even put her hand on one of her buttocks. So the place of action is a brothel where a male visitor picks his favorite gal for the night.

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Fig.2. ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being‘ (2018)

Thelma & Louise

Another one of my personal favorites is the piece ‘We have a high life together with a good friend‘ (Fig.43). Again we seem to be looking at an everyday (somewhat risky) scene with two saucy broads putting on eyeliner and lipstick while sitting and lying on a bed. But a closer look reveals a horrifying event that took place earlier when we see the lifeless hand with broken fingers and blood smears emerging from under the mattress. The broken slat in the blind could also be a subtle reference to this. Now these two sardonic women appear in a completely different light evoking the memory of the 1990s road movie Thelma & Louise (1991).

It was quite a search, but I was able to trace the titles of many of the paintings. Forgive me for excess (over 60 images), but I am an unvarnished fan of this art…

Waldemar von Kozak

Fig.3. ‘Sweet 70s II‘ (2018)

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Fig.4. ‘I Want to Go To Sea‘ (2018)

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Fig.5. ‘Valkyrie‘ (2019)

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Fig.6.’With Pig ‘ (2018)

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Fig.6a. Preliminary pencil sketch for the painting ‘With Pig 

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Fig.7. ‘Spring Job‘ (2018)

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Fig.8. ‘Instaqueen‘ (2014)

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Fig.9. ‘Duhov Day‘ (2017)

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Fig.10. Poster for calvados brand

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Fig.10a. Selected Sketch

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Fig.11. ‘Year of pigs. Rise.‘ (2018)

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Fig.12. ‘Cat day‘ (2019)

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Fig.13. ‘Massage and Pedicure

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Fig.14. ‘White or Black‘ (2016)

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Fig.15. ‘I Mitrosh‘ (2019)

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Fig.16. ‘Dama Kreslo‘ (2019)

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Fig.16a. Preliminary sketch

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Fig.17. ‘Monday‘ (2011)

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Fig.18. ‘An Occurrence at the Aquarium‘ (2019)

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Fig.18a. Preliminary sketch for ‘An Occurence at the Aquarium

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Fig.19. ‘After Party‘ (2015)

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Fig.20. ‘Bedtime‘ (2011)

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Fig.21. ‘What Makes Our Family Nest so Attractive?‘ (2014)

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Fig.22. ‘Robin Hood’s Arrow‘ (2012)

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Fig.23. (2013)

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Fig.24. ‘Valentine and Cupids‘ (2009)


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Fig.25. ‘Sara Snow‘ (2008)

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Fig.26. ‘Magic For Sale 

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Fig.27. ‘Dead Girl‘ (2007)

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Fig.28. ‘Melancholy ‘ (2008)

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Fig.29. ‘Red Robot‘ – one of our members (Alex) studies Japanese and told me that the Japanese characters translate as ‘Red Ass

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Fig.30. ‘Susanna and the Elders‘ (1607) by Peter Paul Rubens (Gallerix.com)

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Fig.31. ‘Explorer‘ (2010)

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Fig.32. ‘Onion Cream

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Fig.33. ‘Happy Easter‘ (2018)

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Fig.34. ‘Spring Coming‘ (2015)

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Fig.35. ‘I choose this fragrance‘ (2017)

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Fig.36. ‘Loneliness‘ (2013)

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Fig.37. ‘We have a high life together with a good friend‘ (2019)

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Fig.37a. ‘Steps’

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Fig.38. (2016)

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Fig.39. ‘Ykraina‘ (2010)

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Fig.40. ‘Cloud‘ (2014)

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Fig.41. ‘Peenemunde‘ (2017)

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Fig.42. Untitled

OK maybe not conforming our “sensual rules”, but fantastic nevertheless these two …riffs… on the European fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood

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Fig,43. ‘I’m Here Granny (Little Red Riding Hood‘ (2011)

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Fig.44. ‘Masha and Bears‘ (2008)

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Fig.45. ‘Heart’s Shop‘ (2010)

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Fig.46. ‘Cuddle Time‘ (2020)

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Fig.47. ‘Early Return‘ (2012)

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Fig.48. ‘Hump and Dump‘ (2012)

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Fig.49. Untitled (2009)

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Fig.50. Untitled (2010)

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Fig.51. Untitled (2015)

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Fig.52. ‘Mermaid‘ (2017)

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Fig.53. Untitled (2008)

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Fig.54. ‘Express Delivery‘ (2013)

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Fig.55. Untitled (2018)

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Fig.56. Untitled (2020) (The sign on the right reads ‘brontosaurus’)


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Fig.57. ‘The Nutcracker‘ (2012)

warm Russian winter

Fig.58. ‘Warm Russian Winter‘ (2011)

seductive female and monkey

Fig.59. ‘Princess, monkey and Moon‘ (2018)

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Fig.60. (2020)

Waldemar von Kozak doll and scissors

Fig.61. (2020)

waldemar kazak breast licking

Fig.62.

waldemar kazak Barbarella

Fig.63. Inspired by Duran Duran’s “Electric Barbarella” (2019)

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Fig.64. Work in Progress (2019)

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Fig.65. ‘Beaujolais nouveau‘ (2018)

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Fig.66.

mark zuckerberg erotic painting

Fig.67. ‘Under pressure‘ (2018)

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Fig.68. ‘Silk Food‘ (2014)

waldemar-von-kozak Sticky sweet fate

Fig.69. ‘Sticky Sweet Fate‘ (2009)

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Fig.70. ‘Kote‘ (2015)

Witch with Sirin waldemar kazak

Fig.71. ‘Witch with Sirin‘ (2020) by Waldemar Kazak

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Fig.72. ‘Valentina‘ (2020)

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Fig.73. ‘Finger’ (2018)

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Fig.74. ‘Soviet Racers‘ (2013)


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Fig.75. (2008)

waldemar kazak red bear

Fig.76.

tv pin up waldemar von kozak

Fig.77.

fridge pin up waldemar kazak

Fig.78.

waldemar kazak Madonna

Fig.79. ‘Madonna‘ (2020)

Valentina waldemar Kazak

Fig.80. ‘Valentina‘ (2020)

waldemar kazak Russian Barbie

Fig.81. ‘Russian Barbie‘ (2020)

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Fig.82.

Waldemar von Kozak alladin

Fig.83. (2010)

waldemar kazak nude pin up with apple

Fig.84. (2015)

Waldemar von Kozak Dame in Fur

Fig.85. ‘Dame in Fur‘ (2015)

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Fig.86.

waldemar kazak erotic picnic

Fig.87.  (2015)

waldemar kazak starlet

Fig.88. (2016)

waldemar kazak dry chick

Fig.89. ‘Dry Chick‘ (2015)

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Fig.90. 'Wanted' (2011)

waldemar kazak sky love

Fig.91.

waldemar kazak sky love

Fig.92. 'Sky Love' (2007)

waldemar kazak picassoFig.93. 'Talk Over a Bear' (2010)

waldemar kazak blue wall

Fig.94. 'Blue Wall' (2016)

waldemar von kozak television two 

Fig.95. 'Television Two ' (2017)

waldemar kazak king kong

Fig.96. 'Happy New Year' (2016)

waldemar kazak die pikdame

Fig.97. 'Die Pikdame' (2015)

waldemar kazak big cat

Fig.98. 'Big Cat' (2011)

waldemar kazak coming soon

Fig.99. 'Coming Soon' (2011)

waldemar kazak Three graces

Fig.100.  'Three Graces' (2009)

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 Fig.101. 'Variety 2 '(2013)


Spring Waldemar Kazak

Fig.102. 'Spring' (2008)

waldemar kazak Cinderella

Fig.103. 'Cinderella' (2008)

Click HERE for articles on similar subjects….!!

You can check out 86 other sensuous pics of Kazak's in Shunga Gallery Premium. If you're already a member click here or get access by trying our FREE risk-free trial...!! 

More of Waldemar Kazak’s art can be found on his Tumblr account and shop…!!

We’re curious to know if our enthusiasm is shared with you. Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below…!!

 

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
Roy Ricci
By

Roy Ricci

on 25 Sep 2020

What social commentary and artistic fun. Thanks again expanding the world of art.

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 25 Sep 2020

Thanks a lot Roy, I am really pleased you enjoy Waldemar's art!

PHALLIQUE
By

PHALLIQUE

on 17 Nov 2020

Mind-blowing. Story-telling. Humorous Eroticism.

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 17 Nov 2020

Thanks Phallique, I agree with you!

MK
By

MK

on 22 Feb 2021

I'm curious of the medium that Waldemar uses. There is some mention of tempra paint and some of the work looks like oil. But watching the videos of the progression makes me think some might actually be digital art done on a tablet like in Fig 43 -43A. The last YouTube video looks like the pink tape to block out areas to paint, just curios if you know. Thanks - this is great dynamic contemporary work. I like the commercial work for Calvados Boulard Brand and all the work is very different yet has certain stylings.

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 22 Feb 2021

Thanks MK, as far as I know he works digitally. Nowadays they can easily digitally emulate the effect of oil painting.

MK
By

MK

on 22 Feb 2021

Yeah - that is what I thought. I just wanted to confirm. Although that last video does look like "pink tape" and I though I did read something about Tempra Paint in the article. - Thanks for the reply.

Ben
By

Ben

on 29 Sep 2021

I love WK's women and scenes...but you could do a whole article just on his cars. I know, I know, not the right forum for that.

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 29 Sep 2021

Thanks Ben. Yes, and also one about his ancient fighter planes.

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