The Most Delicious American Mushrooms, 2016

Mushrooms Bus II, 2016

In the Forest, 2016

Near the River, 2016

Family, 2016

Mushrooms Sex I, 2016

Mushroom and a Bear, 2016

Sparassis Radicata, 2016

The Pisser I, 2016

A Village Shop Scene in the Store, 2016

Mushrooms Having Dinner, 2016

In the Morning to School, 2016

Pregnant Mushroom I, 2016

Family and Birches I, 2016

Mushrooms Sex II, 2016

Mushroom Hunter and a Dog, 2016

The Witch, 2016

The Pisser II, 2016

Cantharellus Clavatus, 2016

Mushrooms Prostitutes, 2016

Mushroom Accordionist I, 2016

School Lesson, 2016

Father and Daughter, 2016

Mushrooms Voyeurs II, 2016

Mushroom Wizard, 2016

The Girl and the Tiger II, 2016

Upset Mushrooms, 2016

Armillaria Mellea, 2016

Mushrooms on Vacation, 2016

Morchella Esculenta, 2016

Pregnant Mushroom II, 2016

Family and Birches II, 2016

Mushrooms Voyeurs I, 2016

Mushroom in a Window, 2016

The Girl and the Tiger I, 2016

The Pisser III, 2016

Dancing, 2016

Mushrooms Selling Mushrooms, 2016

Mushroom Accordionist II, 2016

Sleeping in the Woods, 2016

Happy Mushrooms, 2016

Mushrooms Voyeurs III, 2016

Mushrooms Bus I, 2016

The Girl on the Scooter, 2016


The most delicious american mushrooms



Nikita Shalenny









Press release

English / Danish



 In Soviet times there used to be a magazine called "America". It was an illustrated monthly edition in Russia, issued by the US State Secretary Department between 1956 and 1995. As a counterpart to Soviet Propaganda it was intended to inform Soviet citizens about American life.


All together 454 issues of this magazine were issued, proposed for the USSR audience with 50000 editions of each issue. It is known that at least in 1972 the magazine was published in Beirut and shipped to Yugoslavia by sea.


One of the articles in this magazine dated approximately 1973 -1975 was called "The most delicious American mushrooms" and described the 17 kinds of most exquisite mushrooms in America.


Taking its starting point in this article, the exhibition explores an imaginary mushroom culture embodied in real people, semi-fairy characters, living somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Russian villages and fairytale forests. These mushrooms’ area of habitat is quite wide – they can be easily found in the minibus, in a two-bedroom “khrushchevka” at the family feast, among the children in a classroom, etc.


They sprout from imagination and live their autonomous lives as they find salvation in barely perceptible values, half-forgotten traditions, their special understanding of mental values and total rejection of the new.


On the edges of the mysterious Russian forests the most delicious American mushrooms live their dreamy lives. Seemingly free and equal, they have their own households, sing songs, wander around the forest and love each other. And they will live happily in the provinces among the birches as long as the bears andbutton accordions exist.


The story is alien to the logic and at the same time so simple and clear in its innocence. Through watercolours, the artist illustrates the adventures, everyday scenes and fantastic stories of the mushroom people.


Rooted in the Russian forest, a spiritual resource, which inspires artists and folktales while also serving as a component of cultural identity, the mushrooms are specialties afraid of being consumed by the Western mind-set. Here they are – the overseas mushrooms so loved by Americans.