Levitan, Shishkin, and Aivazovsky, among many others, are names known to every well-educated person in Russia and abroad. These artists are Russia’s pride. Today, too, there is no shortage of talented contemporary Russian painters. Their names are just not yet so widely known.
AdMe.ru, a Russian site dedicated to Russian popular culture and advertising in Russia, has selected 10 contemporary Russian artists (there are, to be sure, many more), who may yet add their names to the list of the great painters of the 21st century. To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English by SRAS Translate Abroad intern Sophia Rehm.
In most of his paintings, Alexey Chernigin uses oil on canvas to capture beauty, romance, and moments of true feeling. Alexey Chernigin inherited his talent and passion for art from his father, the famous Russian artist Alexander Chernigin. Every year, they hold a joint exhibition in their native Nizhny Novgorod.
This young and incredibly talented artist from Krasnodar calls his paintings “fun and irresponsible garbage.” Konstantin Lupanov paints what he loves. The primary subjects of his paintings are his friends, acquaintances, relatives, and his beloved cat, Philip. The simpler the subject, says the artist, the truer the painting.
Stanislav Plutenko’s creative motto is: “To see the unusual and to do the unusual.” This Moscow artist uses a unique technique, combining tempera, acrylic, watercolor, and a very thin glaze applied by airbrush. Stanislav Plutenko has been rated among the top 1000 surrealists of all time.
This contemporary Russian artist, centuries from now, will no doubt rank among the world’s great painters. Nikolai Blokhin is known above all as a portrait painter, although he also paints landscapes, still lifes, and genre paintings. But it is in his portraits that his talent is most strikingly apparent.
Looking at the hyperrealist still lifes of this Russian artist makes you want to reach out your hand and touch, or take right from the canvas, whatever they depict. They are just that real and alive. The artist Dmitri Annenkov lives in Moscow and works in various genres. He is remarkably talented in all of them.
It is impossible to feel indifferent toward the work of artist Vasily Shulzhenko. He is either loved or hated, praised for understanding the Russian soul or accused of hating it. The Russia his paintings depict is harsh, uncensored and grotesque beyond compare, complete with alcohol, debauchery, and stagnation.
Under the pseudonym Arush Votsmush hides Alexander Shumtsov, a talented artist from Sevastopol. “The word “conflict” refers to that moment when you see something surprising, and it forces your inner wheels turn in the right direction. A good conflict is exciting, it gives you goose bumps. And you can get goose bumps from anything: cold water, a holiday, something that suddenly brings you back to your childhood, when a feeling first surprised you and took hold of you… I never try to prove anything to anyone with my work. What I do, above all, is enjoy myself. It’s the “clean” high of creativity. Or a clean life, without drugs. Just miracles.”
Vinogradov and Dubossarsky are the great, raunchy delinquents of contemporary Russian painting. The creative duo formed in the mid-1990s, and has already gained worldwide fame. It was for good reason that writer Victor Pelevin used works of Dubossarsky and Vinogradov as illustrations for one of his novels.
The young Russian artist Mikhail Golubev lives and works in St. Petersburg. His work consists of “thought paintings,” fantasy paintings, and philosophical reflections. He is an extremely interesting artist with a view of the world that is unique, yet feels very familiar.
These are not photographs, but paintings by the Russian realist painter Serge Marshennikov. Many of his most famous paintings depict the artist’s wife and muse, Natalia. The couple has been together for many years, and is raising a 10-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, the whole world admires this artist’s sensual and tender work.