From a very early age, I was driven to draw and paint. I am not sure why it started; perhaps I was inspired by the numerous extraordinary art museums of St. Petersburg in Russia – Hermitage, Russian Art Museum, and many others – as well as by simply wandering through the architectural splendor of my home city, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and its beautiful everyday life. When I was eight, my parents placed me in a prestigious art school that led me to one of the best art academies in the country, the Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design. Rigorous classical training in fine art and education in design allowed me to pursue the opportunities and follow my passion to be creative, and to pursue art as my life’s work. I went through different phases in my career, such as industrial and graphic design, corporate and advertising concept illustrations, until I finally moved to fine art a few years ago.
I take particular joy in observing the nuances of everyday life; En Plein Air sessions – in the city, by the water, on the road – take me outside to experience the mystique of lighting. This is how I am practicing landscape and still life paintings. It is my laboratory and my training ground. But the strongest inspiration of all is the endless diversity of people, their shapes, their colors, their characters, and the emotions their body language expresses. I regard myself as a figurative artist: more than anything, I like the challenges of depicting a human body or a face, in every unique detail, capturing the models’ facial expressions as well as transferring my feelings about them, triggering my thoughts and associations. It’s a deeply satisfying process, which starts from the first touch of a blank canvas or a paper, by oil on my palette knife or by watercolor on my brush, or with charcoal in my hand.
When I finish a painting, the artistic process is far from over. The ultimate goal of my undertaking is to see how my explorations of the depth of space, of harmony of colors and of lines in the composition, and my creation’s sheer artistic energy will strike not just me, but also other observers in the gallery. I hope that the subject matter may affect them the same way as it is inspired me when I started the painting. I seek to capture life in front of me in a way that engages the viewer in a visual dialogue, moving forward and backward across the plane of my canvass.
To this day, every time I am in front of the easel, I experience both a palpable excitement and a clearing of the head. I like converting this energy into my work. I feel empowered during such work. I feel elated when I like the result when people like the result. I relish all the feelings that rush through me during the act of creating an artwork. Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” I like his sentiment, and I like the fact that it comes from a man who was fascinated with shapes and colors as much as I am. Art has a very strong impact on my life, and I value my life’s interaction with art, channeling love and courage into the visual language of shapes and colors.