About Artist

 

About new portrait

 New means to look at common things in a new way.  We are accustomed to the fact that a portrait must be painted in a realistic manner and beside achieving a good likeness depict all the details of the background. Of course, realism is a classic art and appeals to many of us. But after photography was invented in the 20th century a mere likeness of a model in a portrait is no longer an end in itself. 

At some point it stopped to be the only goal for me as well. And then I tried to combine a realistic approach to painting the face and figure of a person and, for example, an avantgarde or impressionistic way of painting a background, because the role of the background is to help create an image. The background can sometimes tell you the whole story of the model by emphasizing important details and toning down minor parts. So the choice of the background and the manner of painting depends on the character of my model. A new approach is also used to the composition of a portrait: I try to focus on the most beautiful parts, for example, a person’s face and hands and paint their every detail.  You may say that such fragmentary, but it makes the painting composition is too become more interior-oriented.

About myself

 I was born in a family of artists, so I knew the smell of paints since my childhood. My first models were my favourite toys. At first I drew pictures in pencil, then started to paint. I also had a lot of albums for colouring. Through colouring different pictures and patterns I leant to be assiduous and accurate in work. “Just paint within the lines”, - I kept telling myself.

Painting school

 I entered painting school only not to lean to play the guitar. My parents had asked me to choose either to go on learning music or go to painting school. And I had chosen the latter. I wasn’t the best at the painting school. There were students who painted better than me. But I had a great advantage before them: my father was an artist. He helped me a lot with advice. We often talked about art and painting. And then I tried to realize his advice in my drawings. 

Art College

 I went to painting school for three years instead of necessary five years, painted a diploma all by myself and in 1991 after leaving secondary school in my eighth year (two years earlier than it was necessary to finish school) I entered Moscow Art College “In the memory of the revolution of 1905”, which my father graduated from. At the college my teacher was the Honoured artist of Russia Mikhail Kugach. Unfortunately, I was his student only for one year, but despite that I still remember and often use his advice on painting, drawing and composition.

The students I studied with were of different age, but all of them were very bright and talented. Three of us were thirty and seemed to me – a fifteen-year-old boy - very old.  We learned from each other. Everyone wanted to be the first and did the best to achieve this. At first I wasn’t the brightest student in the group – which was the result of my uncompleted studies at the painting school - and I had to work hard to fill the gaps in my knowledge, but already half a year later I became one of the best students. Thus, it took me three years to learn everything I could at the art college and in the summer of 1994 I left the college and entered the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. My farther also took me to Surikov Institute of Art. But they told us that without having completed either secondary school or art college (I should say I didn’t finish either of them) they wouldn’t even look at my works. But the Academy was different: I was accepted there all at once. It seemed that all my dreams came true. 

Academy

 The Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture inspired my imagination. Rich still life settings and models sitting for a portrait reminded us of the old Tsar’s Academy and we felt we were successors of the famous Russian painters we all loved so much – Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin...

 But it was a hard psychological test to study at the Academy. They tried to break us and teach discipline. “If you study at the Academy, please comply with its rules”, - said our teachers. “This institution gives you fundamental academic experience, while expressing your creativity will be your task after graduation”. So did I. I honestly studied all six years and after the Academy I started to look for my own style and paint creative works. Though earnest students often risk never to find themselves in painting till the end of their life. But I wasn’t like that. I truly believe that if you work hard and try to achieve something one day you’ll find your way to success. The painter Ivanov told me this at my diploma presentation: «The portrait of the famous Russian actor Victor Stepanov is a good academic work, but it’s high time to start looking for something new and express your creativity». For me it meant that I had achieved the level of experience that enabled me to look for my own style of painting. Though true creative paintings started to appear only after five years of independent work, but this was a natural evolution, not an artificially forced process.

My style

 My “golden” series of women’s portraits is a result of natural professional growth. Once I remembered Valentin Serov’s portrait of the Russian singer Fedor Shalyapin, painted with charcoal. The image was depicted so well black and white that when Shalyapin asked Serov when he would paint it in colours, Serov answered: “Do you want me to “colour” the portrait?” And then I wondered why I “coloured” the backgrounds and dresses if I enjoyed so much to paint every detail of a woman’s face. And what’s more it is much easier to portray an image by focusing only on a model’s face or even some of its lines.

 This series is only the beginning of my creative development. I’m sure there are a lot of new and interesting things ahead. The key point is to carry your dreams and expectations through everyday routine.  And I believe it is possible, because I’m sure dreams come true.


 
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