Saturday, June 18, 2016

Meet the Artist: Vladimir Volegov

Since I have no artistic talent to speak of, I revere people that do. My tastes tend toward impressionism, romanticism, and neo-classicism.

This is the first in a series of posts in which I will feature an artist whose work I love. I will introduce the artist and present some key works distinctive of their style.

Vladimir Volegov

This contemporary artist was born in 1957 in Khabarovsk, Russia. He began painting at the tender age of three and has amassed an impressive body of work, as well as winning numerous awards along the way (click to see a list of these recognitions). Visit his website to learn even more about him and support the artist by purchasing an album/book of his collected works.

What I love about Volegov's work is his sense of light and color, which accent breathtakingly beautiful subject matter. 

He is a master of the human form, in particular the female form, which he presents in all its sensual glory, while always tastefully and tenderly depicting his subjects.

I invite you to explore below the exquisite products of this man's extraordinary talent.  

I provide in each image a direct link to the artist's website for that painting, in case you would like to purchase a poster/print of the work.  

In this post I will present and discuss works listed for 2016 on the artist's website. In future posts I will work my way backward as I seek to make this artistic genius even better known to the world.
Light Breeze at Dunes

As I introduce you to his style, notice the long flowing hair only partially obscuring a beautiful face. This is a feature you'll see repeated. There is the presence in the scene of movement, depicted here with the wind-blown fabric. A contrast of color between the lavender dress draping the comely female form and the natural colors of the landscape. The subject in a work by Volegov is invariably looking elsewhere, inviting us to imagine her perspective on the scene. The light is coming from our right and above, illuminating her shoulders and the side of her left breast. And in the distant expanse a sense of eternity as the ocean meets the horizon.

I won't break down all of his paintings with such detail, but this one serves to exemplify just the astounding level of artistic sense employed here. 

At the City Fountain
The blue of her blouse is a contrast to the greens of the tree and the water is a fusion of the two colors, also infusing the scene with subtle motion. You will notice in the works of Volegov a true reverence of the female breast, depicted her as moderately ample, with the slightest appearance of cleavage. But our eyes are drawn into that face, framed by the swirl of her locks. The light comes from our right and above, shining upon her hair, left cheek, and neck. Again, she calls us to look into the fountain with her. Another classic Volegov achievement--our eyes explore the wondrous complexity. We are there.

Beautiful Moment

The breast in Volegov's works is sensualized, but not sexualized. Nothing serves to establish this better than this touching scene of a woman with a child at her breast. The woman's purple flows into the child's pinkish hue just as her milk flows into the child's mouth. We see joy on the woman's face, expressed through just a hint of a contented smile. Her eyes are closed, but they are locked on the recipient of her unconditional love. 

White Peonies

At first glance, we are awash in shades of white, starting from the brightest white of the flowers themselves, then cascading down onto the table as our eyes then find themselves caressing the woman, muted light shining through her garment, hinting at the exquisite form that they embrace. The movement in the painting is conveyed in her arms; her gaze then turns us toward a surprising splash of orange upon a scene otherwise green in the background and ivory-white in the foreground. Notice that the light shines upon the porch, casting a serious shadow through the railing, but lingers just short of the woman herself. 

Cloudy Morning

Again, the light shines from our right and above, glowing upon her hair and her lap. Flowing tresses and relative darkness in the picture almost hide a beautiful face from us, but do not succeed. The strap off her left shoulder and the fabric clinging precariously to her left breast tantalize our sexual sense, but the overall image is one of pure innocence.

March Day in Lindau
Lest you think that the only thing Vladimir Volegov paints is women (not that I would complain, given how fantastically he does so), here is a landscape. As you look at this scene, it shifts in our eye between photo-realism and impressionism. Striking in the image is the sense that we are looking at these buildings from a lower elevation. We feel inclined to step forward and elevate ourselves to discover what lies beyond the two buildings in that passage just to our right of the center of the painting.


This is a delightful and peaceful painting. Light shines hard from our left and above at a little girl occupied in an unspecified task. I adore how the scene is intentionally left unfinished at the top and right margins, further highlighting the focus in the main frame. In fact, as you look further upon the painting, you realize that she is the only thing here that is fully and in detail depicted. Everything around her is rough and empty, so focused is she on her task.

New Flowers

Another classic Volegov, a green scene in the background, which only highlights the action in the foreground. A woman gazes upon a simple flower-pot, providing the most striking colors of the painting. But we can't long linger upon the object of her attention, because the most alluring and beautiful thing in this picture is the woman herself. Her long neck is accentuated by her hair pulled up, a single lock gracefully kissing her cheek. Light sings upon the top of her breasts from within a modest dress which is a curious combination of ivory and iridescent tones.

In Hotel
There are evidently two sources of light in this image. There is the lamp in the background, but the woman herself is seemingly bathed in moonlight coming through a window to her left. Nude, she is seated innocently on the hotel bed, holding--what? It is blue, it is the brightest color in the room. Our eye, of course, cannot but shift between this object and her left breast, just centimeters away from the apparent focus of the scene. Does the headrest of the chair in the background contain a face, smiling at her? The entire scene raises more questions than it answers.

Under the Old Cherry Tree

Finally, here we see a scene of seeming tranquility. A graceful female form rests below an ivory dress on a lounge chair. The table is a jumble. Her book has been set aside. A cup and a glass and an unlit candle. Cherries have randomly fallen about. Her eyes are closed, but she is not asleep. Her gaze pulls us toward another focus in the image--her lovely feet perched on the edge of the lounge chair, as if implying that she knows she needs to go somewhere in her life, but she is not ready. And so, in this moment, she rests and waits.

I will continue my exploration of this amazing artist's work in future posts. He has more from 2016, so visit his website to see more and explore the many other years of his prolific achievement.