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The Prolific Hidden Works of NICHOLAS KALMAKOFF

Some truly artistic people don’t know how to communicate with #normcore culture. Their visions are so all-encompassing, their need to put brush or pen to paper so engulfing, that they find it almost unbearable to spend time away from their creations with those who can’t comprehend their eccentricity. One such artist is Nicholas Kalmakoff, an impoverished Russian aristocrat who lived in obscurity in Paris and died alone in his hospice room in 1955, whereby all his paintings were put in storage to lay untouched. In 1962, a Hungarian flea market seller sold a lot of 40 canvases to two men, Bertrand Collin du Bocage and Georges Martin du Nord, having acquired them from the aforementioned storage unit when it was auctioned off, Storage Wars style. du Nord and du Bocage immediately saw the twisted genius of his work, and discovered all they could about the mysterious artist. Although Kalmakoff did exhibit his work during his life, it wasn’t considered to be of any value, perhaps because of his obsession with the Devil and with sex and eroticism – he claimed that he saw the Devil every night, and painted him over and over again. He followed an extreme sect of Russian Christianity called Skoptzy – as did Rasputin – which advocated against sex, which it saw as the root of all evil, calling even for castration if it was warranted. Kalmakoff has been accused of misogyny in his life and in his subject matter (not surprising if he was celibate and contemplating castration), but his work is also highly erotic and visually sensual, with a cacophony of color and swirling movement. You can read an in-depth history of his work via Visionary Revue here, and check out a gallery of his works, mostly painted between 1910 and 1930, below…

k.1demon.280x680 k.3neg.800x500 k.ange.dechu.775x550 k.appel.475x650 k.astarte.330x450 k.buddh.mon.700x530 k.esp.fam.680x560 k.fem.satan.600 k.fop.575x555 k.grotte.790x560 k.ja.triumph.790x560 k.jeanbaptiste.570x630 k.leda.790x610 k.marriage.700x440 k.medusa.490x665 k.nadjis.780x550 k.rat.550x550 k.reves.810x540 k.sal.sphinx.590x630 k.satan.600x770 k.sp.neg.640x570 k.teneb.570x560 k.theatre1.700x530 k.victim.530x680 k.war.680x500



  1. Sergey Martyn

    April 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Rasputin briefly investigated but rejected the sect Khlysty. Skoptzy originated as an offshoot of Khlysty. Rasputin never has been a member of Skoptzy nor any other sect.
    Recently bought 380 page monography about Kalmakoff written by Joh E. Bowlt and Yulia Balybina who did a great job investigating Kalmakoff’s life and art.
    And they say Kalmakoff was interested in Theosophy and later in Paris he joined Fortin’s idea of uniting all religions described in ‘Bible of free spirits’ and even painted the Fortin’s chapel (Chapelle de Resurrectoire) with gods and demons. But he never been a member of Skoptzy.

  2. Rich Osmond

    February 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Alex Shadrin this reminds me of your work!

  3. Pablo Rivas Robledo

    February 26, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Pablo Gonzalez Hola señor darks

  4. Gaëtan Dugás

    February 26, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Great art. Second painting reminds me of Leviathan’s “massive conspiracy” and DSO’s “paracletus” covers. Or maybe the contrary

  5. Andy Rogers

    February 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm


  6. Andy Rogers

    February 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm


  7. Matthew Updyke

    February 26, 2015 at 11:52 am


  8. Michael Bryniarsky

    February 26, 2015 at 10:29 am


  9. Tyler Gilbert

    February 26, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Dylan Burrows

  10. Manu Lara Zenozain

    February 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Most interesting article ive read here. Keep with this kind of articles please.

  11. Mike Díaz

    February 26, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Nathan Rogge

  12. Justin Robbie Hayward

    February 26, 2015 at 3:57 am


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