A few words about my art style, and a long list of artist who influenced me, and how.
My Visual Style
Art is all about composition to me - color and visual organization of the structural elements - all at once. I love moments of reaching this unity in beauty. My combinations of those elements reflect my own mind's projections onto the world.
I started noticing my style when I was making murals in my early twenties. I saw that I was imposing some of my brain activity patterns onto reality I perceived. One wall was entirely abstract - it looked like a a record of my internal rhythm, and like the leitmotiv of my desire.
The process of painting creates me. While rendering my interpretation of something, I rearrange the inner imagery as well, for good. I am never the same again after externalization of ideas. The liberation it brings is deeply joyful. This process modifies the next layer of mind projections onto the world. The visual satisfaction from a finished piece seems irreplaceable for me, at least for now.
Integrating the third dimension into the surface is an exciting game, like a discovery or solving a puzzle. And by this flattening I mean not only the real space, but also the snapshots of the elastic tables in the multidimensional database that my mind uses to analyze reality. In addition to instinctual and cultural ways to sort visual information.
Over many following years, I developed my sense of composition . I had special exercises for it, which I repeated thousands of times. Then it became a driving force - over concept, over feeling, over even objective reality. I treat a painting as a song with a melody, a beat, and recurring notions.
My Style and Technique Influences
I am generally against strict adherence to particular set of rules or style, especially as defined by others.
Here I want to highlight people whose art I love, and to whom in my mind I hold myself accountable. They happened to participate in art process in the times and intellectual environments mentioned below. Styles of some of them influenced me the most, I believe (highlighted in bold in the list below).
A few of these artists I discovered later in life and recognized them either as kindred spirits or as searching in the same direction. In several such discoveries, I dropped some of my ideas, because they were already realized by them.
- Styles of a period, country, group of artists, art movement, and individual styles of the artists within - arranged by their historical emergence, for the most part, with my notes:
- Stone Age Cave Painting - determination, accuracy of gesture.
- Ancient Egyptian (my fascination started at about 13- reliefs, elegance of the figures, earth pigment combinations, symbolism) and Greek (somehow less and later, but the sculptures are mind-blowing).
- Eastern styles like Japanese Sumi-e 水墨画, Chinese guóhuà, s.国画; 國畫, and Zen art (禅画) - abstraction and spontaneity, brushwork - some of the paintings present the highest compositional beauty to me. Kintsukuroi taught me to overcome problems in the art process with excitement and discard nothing.
- Medieval European, Celtic, Gothic - linework, concert of lines, marvelous details and beings.
- Renaissance (1300 - 1600): Botticelli, Leonardo (his ethics, style, and the multitude of interests), Michelangelo (and his poetry I read early in life), Raphael (color and portraiture), Giorgione ( portraits), Titian (I loved him in childhood), Dürer (drawing and self-portraits, especially two that were engraved into my brain), Pieter Bruegel (when I was 8 or 9, I cut out all the figures from his reproductions on postcards I traded and carried them with me in a little box to never feel alone), Bosch (fantasy! the album with his reproductions was in front of my eyes for years when I fell to sleep), van Eyck.
- Mannerism (1527–1580): Tintoretto, El Greco (figurative cubistic drama), Veronese (color).
- Baroque (1600–1750): Rembrandt (portraits, composition, drawing - from one portrait I saw in Getty I could not walk away, and his drawings I saw earlier in Europe in original brought me back to art), Ruisdael, van der Ast, Reubens, Caravaggio.
- Rococo (1720 - 1780): Fragonard, Boucher, Watteau - curves and waves.
- Romanticism (1780–1880): Turner (drama of impression), Goya (depth of thought, emotional composition), Constable, Friedrich, Gericault, Delacroix, West - emotions, analysis, mystique, sky.
- Peredvizhniki / Передвижники (1870-1920): Repin (his portrait of a beggar girl I kept in my last room in Ukraine in the corner with a candle, like an icon), Perov, Serov (portraits!), Nikolai Ge, Kuindzhi (Ukrainian landscapes, after I saw them very young, I was almost shaking from impatience to use color this way), Kramskoi, Levitan, Savrasov, Surikov;
also Aivazovsky (one of the best for me forever), Chagall.
- Realism (1830 - 1870): Courbet, Millet, Corot, Honore Daumier - harsh reality.
- Impressionism (1860–1890): Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pissarro, Edgar Degas - figurative positioning, color airiness, fleeting moments.
- Post-Impressionism (1885–1910): Cézanne (color composition and cubistic division, I still remember the moment I started understanding him), Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh, Paul Gauguin.
- Pointillism, neo-impressionism (1880s): Georges Seurat (divisionism and color value contrast), Paul Signac - (dynamic light division, Jan Toorop.
- Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) and Vienna Secession (1890 - 1910): Joseph Sattler - illustrative composition, Franz Stuck - facial expressions, Gustav Klimt - flat decorativeness, Maximilian Liebenwein - illustration.
- Avant-garde (1890-1930): Malevich (geometric awesomeness), Bogomazov, Lissitzky.
- Symbolism: Odilon Redon, Joan Miro, Paul Klee, Edvard Munch - figurative expressiveness, Hugo Simberg, James Ensor, Gustave Moreau.
the wild beasts(1905–1908): Andre Derain - color, Henri Matisse - composition and flat color, Maurice de Vlaminck - color contrast, Jean Metzinger - cubic layers.
- Expressionism: Franz Marc - animals.
- Cubism (early 20th): Pablo Picasso (everything!), Georges Braque (edge quality), Juan Gris (texture contrast), Fernand Leger (floating color).
- Futurism (1909 - 1914): Umberto Boccioni - dynamism and line stroke, Joseph Stella - fill of space.
- Orphism (1912-13): František Kupka (abstract colorfulness), Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay (segments and textile).
- Dada (1916 - mid 1920s): Marcel Duchamp (movement depiction and connecting lines), Max Ernst ( shade brushstrokes and color contrast), Man Ray (outline).
- Art Deco (1920s - mid 1930s): Léon Bakst (costume and gesture), Louis Lozowick (cityscape drama), John Austen (linework and black), Aleksandra Ekster (color clarity).
- Abstract Expressionism (1940s - 1950s): Jackson Pollock - line, Willem de Kooning - black line.
- Color Field (1940s - 1960s): Mark Rothko (color glow), Kenneth Noland (shapes).
- Lyrical Abstraction (1945-1960): Wassily Kandinsky - shape synthesis, Georges Mathieu - linear brushstroke placement, Pierre Soulages - blue geometry, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva - surface division, Nicolas de Stael - minimalistic perspective.
- Minimalism and Hard Edge Painting in general, including Lorser Feitelson - curves.
(to be extended)...