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“4 – 34” (Russian billiard)


“4 – 34” (Russian billiard)

Canvas on stretcher, 60х60 cm (23.62”x23.62”)



Kyiv, 2012.


Billiard balls – similar spherical objects, situated in two-dimensional, flat and uniform space. Every one of them has a natural number. The latter circumstance alone can make any layout of billiard balls full enough of suggestions.


Sixteen billiard balls forming up a square, can represent magic square matrix 4x4 if the balls numbers, summed up by rows, columns and diagonals produce 34. It should be noted, however, that ball number 16 bears no number – it is clear ball. Well, this can be fixed with the help of blue chalk – the thing players normally use for other purposes, but anyway…


Another useful observation is that Arithmism as style in contemporary art, and not in contemporary billiard. Which means that chalk would perfectly do. Here is an allusion that sometimes (actually, quite often) one might have to think a bit further, “down to the end” in order to obtain one ready-to use meaning. And sometimes (actually, quite often) – to use quite unorthodox methods…   


Billiard balls are good for 4x4 matrix not only due to their count, but also shape. We know that in old time magic squares corresponded to certain planets and “celestial mechanics spheres”.  Square 4x4 was assigned to Jupiter. Besides, billiard balls and planets are in a way similar. Thus, the painting titled “4 – 34” (Russian billiard) contains certain “celestial” allusion, though the colour palette looks quite earthly, and, say, billiardly…