Evening. A man stands painting a landscape. It is 5 degrees and his
mustache and beard are collecting the falling snow. It is the late 1980s,
St. Petersburg, Russia. I am 12 years old.
Until then, I had participated in the activities of your typical
Russian youth: chess, choral practice, and school. Seeing that man was
an epiphany for me: I knew that I would be an artist. Like most children,
I had practiced drawing in school, and like most Russians I had grown
up looking at art. But, until that moment, I did not realize it would
become my life.
My parents were quick to recognize that I was serious about my new ambition,
and enrolled me in art classes outside of school. From 1989 to 1993,
I studied at the Yoganson School of Fine Arts; in 1993 I began my studies
at The Repin School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. It was
at The Repin School that I had the privilege to study under the renowned
book artist Andre Pahomov, a man who taught me about the freedom of
Since then, I have been able to exhibit in Germany, Holland,
Russia and the United States in both group and solo shows. "Story
of Creation," a book I produced using linoleum blocks, was included
in television and radio documentaries in Russia. My work is in the collections
of The Pushkin Museum in Russia, Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG of Germany,
and various private collectors in Europe and the United States.
Now, living and working in the U.S., I know that art can be understood
without translation. That day in the park, I did not envision that I
would one day be in America, in the cold, with snow collecting in my
hair. But as I learn to live in a country where becoming an artist is
not as noble as I grew up believing, still I am dedicated to the pursuit
of beauty and to achieving greatness in my work.