Andrei Molodkin (born 1966) is a Russian conceptual artist.
Molodkin later served in the Russian Army, where he worked in Siberia delivering oil. He would also use his army-issue ballpoint pens to draw and, whilst in the Army, he would eat bread smeared in oil and dried on a radiator instead of taking drugs.
In a labor-intensive process and with great precision, the artist draws precisely with a simple ballpoint pen on his gigantic canvas drawings. Many times the pens are symbols of life itself, in the sense that the used-up pen (the dead) is immediately replaced by a new generation. Each of them is destined to work obsessively at any price, until the last drop of ink-blood has been used, thus creating the illusion of a continuous, living process.
By transforming oil from an organic resource into an aesthetic form, the artist raises important questions regarding the role of oil within our contemporary Western culture. He explores the clash between culture, religion, economy and politics when he uses recognizable religious images or cultural iconography as his subject matter. Molodkin believes that the oil industry is the flesh and blood of Western economy and he comments on how a national resource can become a national identity.
Molodkin’s most recent project has been his attempt to make oil from human corpses with a giant pressure cooker.
Andrei Molodkin’s work received international critical acclaim and was reviewed favorably by numerous publications including The New York Times, Art Forum, Village Voice, The Guardian and BBC News. The artist currently lives and works between Paris and Moscow. His works are held in private collections in The State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg, the S. Freud Museum, Saint-Petersburg and in the collection of Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow.