Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"In ART We Trust" at Ventura County Museum

My works including the new painting
"Purple Bloom"
are in the group show

"In ART We Trust"   
  coinciding with
the most important theoretical and academic gathering
of contemporary representational art movement to date

The show is featuring six of my paintings and drawings alongside works of my close artistic friends and colleagues, some of the leading contemporary figurative artists of our days

Jeremy Lipking, Tony Pro and Joseph Todorovitch 

October 16 - November 25, 2015

  "Purple Bloom" 
oil on linen 60" x 48" 

This is the last painting that I worked on with my great Dad. It was conceived at the beginning of last year and the sketches for it as well as its initial work stages were the subject of our daily talks. I'd show him every night at the hospital and later at home the day's progress on my iphone.  

I guess it is only through working on it that I managed to cope with the complete devastation of seeing Dad diminish, to make sense out of it.  

Till the very last moment with torturously diminishing physical abilities he managed to give a still absolutely spot on advice, perfect in its clarity and accuracy. It was truly amazing to witness - as in the Terminator movie it was like some hidden alternative mode of life would kick in, the red light would come up and the full force of a precise visual judgment would burst through.  Dissolving himself in ART he became ART himself.

ART is an ever-young force of life in the eternity of Purple Bloom.


 "My Father" 
sepia and white leads of fabriano paper 30" x 22" 

This is the live drawing of my Dad.
I got him to sit for me on my own birthday as the best gift possible for myself. Doing this on my own birthday made me contemplate the double mortality - his and my own. This was the last he sat for me fully live. Having him to sit for me was perhaps the best thing I ever did.  

 "Hands of My Father" 

sepia and white leads on fabriano paper 22" x 30"

This is also a live study of my Dad’s hands. These are almost double life size, though when I did them I didn’t give much to it. Only later it occurred to me that perhaps this is how I subconsciously still remember "huge" Dad’s hands…the hands of an Artist, the Hands of Creator that gave Life.

"American Hero. Vic Stadter"  
sepia and white leads on fabriano paper 22" x 30"

I was astoundingly lucky to meet and draw Vic live.

As a matter of fact I met and draw him on my birthday right after Dad's passing much like I did a drawing of my Dad on my own birthday 2 years prior. There was some strange and inexplicable connection. Vic was amazing and in his unbounded spirit totally reminded me my Dad. Vic was also the true Artist in his heart in the way he led his life. They were of the same age from the same Generation of Giants. Both were extreme survivors, Dad in a famine in Ukraine, in a war and perils of Soviet bureaucracy, Vic on his runs, adventures and challenge of authority. Both were extreme at what they did. For both the unshakable integrity of their way of life was worth all the risk.

Vic was the legendary smuggler, "an equalizer of inequities", who once flu a wrongly imprisoned, framed for murder innocent man out of a Mexican prison. Vic's story was depicted in the 1975 classic "Breakout" and Charles Bronson plaid Vic in it. 

Vic just passed away few weeks ago at 95 and, appropriately, not in his own bed. Flying his chopper till last days without a glitch, he died in a car accident.

  "Self Portrait with a Forty Day Beard" 
oil on linen board 24" x 18"

This is my first self portrait in 30 years. I painted it after 40 day of Russian mourning period. The first work after my Dad's passing.

 So strange that this show comes up right around Dia de los Muertos, a day of reuniting with our own and celebrating together our unbreakable bond over which even the Death itself cannot rule.  ART has the same power. 

And just to make sure to emphasize what a short step it is from Divine to Profane - there will be a surprise "mystery' piece that I did for a show and if you are  coming you will be able to help me solve a burning question - your vote will count!

How cool is this, that the museum picked for the title of this personally significant show my Classical Underground motto:

In ART We Trust! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

“Moondance” – My New Painting for “The External and The Contemplative” Show at American Legacy Fine Arts

There are special  moments in nature when the light fills the world and everything in it with an etherial sensation. I love witnessing those moments and translating their sense into paint. I love the sensation of a flight that we experience when we encounter birds in their gracious and forceful path. First and foremost, I love the expressive language of the human form as a pinnacle of Nature’s grace and power. I also love the authenticity of a true and extraordinary human character, their manifestations live through time. 

"Moondance” oil on linen 36” x 48” 

I am concentrating on developing these themes in my resent work as they present a perfect subject for the technical qualities of painting I am looking for currently. In my search for authentic and extraordinary characters I love working with artists, musicians, creators. 

In the “Moondance” I was fortunate to enjoy all things that I love. 

It was a rare privilege to work for this piece with one of the foremost Ballet Dancers of our time, a winner of this year’s landmark Bari competition in both, Classical and Contemporary categories and the principle dancer of the Kremlin Ballet in Moscow (being an American), an incomparable Joy Womack. As it turned out we share in common with Joy the belief that ART is an extreme sport. What Joy, as any true Artist, proves is that “impossible” just an excuse for the lack of courage.

What fascinated me always in ballet dancers is precisely what is often missed behind their deceptively “genteel” veneer. At the top professional level ballet is an extreme sport requiring nothing less than a pick performance at a pick form. Joy is at such pick level and the language of her gesture authentically represents the pinnacle of what humans can do. As such it is a force of Nature itself.

As it happened, during the week of our intense live sessions was a rare blue moon, so we loaded my Bronco and departed to the ocean for the night. What I got to witness right in front of me and capture was a perfect unity of all elements I love and that is what created “Moondance”

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Head Drawing for Painters Workshop with California Art Club

Had a great time with my three-day drawing workshop for the California Art Club.

The workshop was on the critical importance of drawing for the painters in the Russian Academic Tradition. Having spectacular examples of Dad’s class drawings from the golden slice of Russian Academy revival of the 1950s, examples of him applying this knowledge into his painting as well as showing how my own drawing affects my paintings I described to the class the principles and methods that I use in constructing my works.

I also showed the class the way I use my favorite Fabriano paper and Cretacolor sepia.

DAY 1 

Lecture on the key principles of Russian Academic teaching and of my personal approach


Discussion of my materials and demo of the way I prep the paper

Beginning stage of the demo and explanation of my "Inside Out" method and of my principles of construction

                                                                  DAY 2

Students start their work with the model, concentrating on the slow beginning stage and applying principles I described during my demo on the first day while I recapitulate my principles of construction.

                         Good lunch always helps...just don't fall asleep

                                   Always rely on trusted friends

                                   The development stage of my demo

                                                                  DAY 3

                  Organizational stage of the demo and of students work


30" x 22" Cretacolor Sepia and White Leads on the Fabriano Artistico Soft Press 300lb paper

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My new paintings "Forty Day Beard" & "Melting Away" at CAC Anual Gold Medal Show

My new paintings 
California Art Club 
104th Annual 
Gold Medal Juried Exhibition

"Forty Day Beard"  detail 

I haven't done a self-portrait for 30 years. All last years my Dad was asking me to make one. So after 40 days of Russian mourning period I painted this one.
It's called "Forty Day Beard."
It is now exhibited in the California Art Club show along with my new painting "Melting Away" from one of my favorite and tranquil Malibu spots.

March 29-April 19, 2015

USC Fisher Museum of Art
823 West Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles 90089

"Forty Day Beard" oil on linen 24' x 18"
It was pretty hard, meaningful and in this way beautiful couple of months.
Made me feel everything ART is made of and for.  
ART transcends all human experiences.  
ART heals.

in ART we trust.


"Melting Away" oil on linen 9" x 12"  

  For more information go to  
 CAC website