Feb 22

The Thir Moscow Art-Festival ''Traditions and Modernity''

About Artist

Tsvetkov was born a year before the end of the II World war. His childhood and youth were typical of those of the 1960s in Russia, which were marked by the beginning of the Space Age and the art of the "Nouveau Vague" - the 60's that intermingled the romance of the development of the North with the new cultural values of the times of the "Thaw" ("ottepel"). Oleg started painting at the age of four and was soon accepted to a graphic arts studio for children. His first teacher at the studio was Boris Perkhalev, a unique person of remarkable talent..

"He would often say to us: "You should love the art in yourselves, not yourselves in the art". This is a precept, the real understanding of which comes only with age. Boris Yakovlevich was a real master, a great teacher, a man whom I remember with deep respect and gratitude..."

In 1961 Tsvetkov's family moved to Vishniy Volochek, a small town in the Tverskoy region, midway between St. Petersburg and Moscow . Its long rich history, ancient monuments, primordial nature – these have always attracted artists from all over Russia . Later, using pre-revolution archives, Tsvetkov was to recreate in his paintings lost historical images of the town: buildings, churches and cathedrals, which had been destroyed.

In the early 1970s, Oleg Tsvetkov became absorbed in the artistic life of the "Akademicheskaya Dacha", which was situated nearby: he attended workshops and exhibitions, mingled with the many painters who worked there at the time. Later on, despite his withdrawal from the artistic world owing to military service, he continued to paint. While working as an artist at his regimental club, he started to take interest in gouache and in time studied graphical capabilities of this technique in great detail. Tsvetkov in his works developed this almost forgotten and abandoned technique, raised it to the level of true mastery and introduced a novel touch, thus transforming "obstinate" gouache into a docile and precise painting instrument.

"Gouache has an ancient and quite curious history, but it still remains an "esoteric" paint, hardly used in modern paintings. Its reputation of a complex, unpliant graphical material is well-deserved to a large extent. At the same time, there is no school which would develop methods necessary to work with this paint. I was challenged to overcome the "resistance" of gouache, discover its potential to convey plasticity, volume and movement of light. I can say that for me as a painter it was more than a rewarding effort…"

Upon completion of his military service, Oleg Tsvetkov worked as an engineer of technical aesthetics, decorator and the head of an art workshop. At that time he graduated from the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture with a degree in theory and history if arts. Countless visits to the museums of both the Russian capitals and among them one of the best museums in the world – "The Hermitage" in St Petersburg - influenced the formation and development of his artistic taste.

"It would be very difficult to list the names of all artists whose works are close and dear to my heart… Among those artists, whose creations touch the deepest strings of one's soul are the masters of the Northern Renaissance: Bruegel, Bosch, Rubens. The works of Rubens are imbued with an enthusiastic energy and ardour, they exemplify expressionism in art. Bruegel's landscapes are very different though… They represent much more then just an "artistic" vision of nature. I see them as an accurate, clear reflection of Bruegel's philosophy as an artist. A scrupulously detailed contemplation of life and the meaning of human existence."

As an artist Oleg Tsvetkov aspires to a dynamic, multifaceted and integrated emotional experience, which could be called "reality aftertaste". Appearances – lines, shapes, play of light, scents and sounds – are charged with feelings and subsumed in the space of the conceivable, potential and anticipated; thus his paintings are being filled with a special "musical" atmosphere. The central character, in the same way as the first violin in an orchestra, sets the main theme, rhythm and key. The vibrant, expressive streaks in many of his paintings reveal a mystical ethereal perception nature. The symbolism in Oleg's paintings shows a deep, almost ultramundane ability to discern a light of infinity, an ideal image, an archetype, in something plain and quiet.

"The iris, one of the main themes in many of my paintings, is a Christian symbol of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its resemblance to a butterfly, frozen in its flutter, adds to the wonder of its beauty…" There is one more meaning in this image to me: a soul leaving a body at the moment of death and acquiring wings, and a rebirth, the immortality of a human spirit. Flowers are used to commemorate and mark the most stirring moments in life, when feelings, passion and music are wakening in us. Flowers for me are an eternal Pierian spring"

The world through the eyes of Oleg Tsvetkov is manifold, expressive and supple. It breaths in a myth and balances on the margin between anxious anticipation, inspired happiness and optimistic revelation . Russia's inviolable nature, its history and art, the human microcosm- all this is truthfully and perspicaciously expressed in his painting - so diverse in motives, themes and manner of performance. Reality as a symbol, immersed in a polyphonic world of ideas – this is the key to the cryptography of Oleg Tsvetkov's canvases.