Vanishing Point (30" x 40", pencil and ink,
The vanishing point
is a metaphor for the often-overlooked inequality among the races.
A discussion of Nikolai Buglaj’s Racial
Optical Illusion (30" x 40", pencil and ink, 1997):
“In another example, the artist
Nikolai Buglaj has transformed a classical example of an optical illusion created by a shift in the context in which
objects are perceived into a commentary on race relations in the United States (Fig. 22).
The three figures in this
piece are all the same size (if you don’t believe it, measure them for yourself), but because the figure outside
the room is, in effect, contextless, he looks small.
The figure entering the
room appears to be larger, and the figure inside the room appears largest of all. The surrounding walls alter the
relative scale in which each figure is perceived.
The wall of the room is decorated
with an American flag, and it represents, for Buglaj, the “system” from which African Americans are excluded,
thus making them appear smaller than they are. Conversely, from the outside looking in, the white man appears larger
than he really is.”
From “Writing about Art” by Henry Sayre
e-mail Nikolai at: VAL