The word penumbra is often rendered "half-light." The Latin origin paene umbra literally means "almost shadow." In between the shadow and the light there is a zone through which we may see what is in the penumbra, but we see it with this darkened hue, and it is problematic to say whether it is illuminated or not.
Gaponov's art highlights the fact that we have deeply complicated relationships with the world of objects either of secular or religious nature. His still life paintings present an invitation to think about these relationships, how they are formed and what they might tell us about our moment in history -- truly contemporary still lives in the very best of the great tradition.