Danja Akulin works in an interesting and recognizable technique: he uses a pencil to do fine hatching, which is then transferred onto canvas. This black-and-white graphic art is built solely around the play between light and shade. The drawing in his work moves past thstatus of sketch to acquire that of an individual artistic statement.


He writes: “I have experimented a lot – sculpted, then painted – until I understood that I can say significantly more with a pencil than I could with a brush or paint. A line made by a pencil is much more interesting to me than a line made by a brush or a line marking the border of two colored surfaces. It can convey much more information.” 


An elegant placidity is attained through the contrast between the close framing and the size of the piece: large canvases can only be seen at a certain distance from the work. These are simple black-and-white images, but for some reason they compel you to stop, to scrutinize, to take part in the ephemeral present. Here, familiar and even obtrusive symbols that we encounter every day in the urban environment – on packaging, on the computer screen – are in some strange fashion swallowed up by the artistic context.


The images are partly abstract, partly symbolic, and partly figurative: forest trees, field
grasses, tranquil lakes, and the moon softly floating over the lake’s surface are transformed into sensuous and meditative landscapes.


Danja began his studies at St. Petersburg’s Mukhina School, and then moved to Berlin,
where he studied at the Academy of Arts under the legendary Baselitz and Richter. It’s
possible that it was this conceptual education that he received in the lessons given by these masters, laid on top of the perfection-oriented drilling of the drawing classes in the Mukhina School, that aided Danja in finding his own artistic language. He participates regularly in exhibitions in Russia, Germany, and the USA.


Danja Akulin was born in Leningrad in 1977. He lives and works in Berlin.