“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
Forced to analyze the various sizes of brushes and what they’re made from, buying the canvas in a store or coating it by yourself, whether to use turpentine or linseed oil to dilute the paints: these all seem to be actions that should be consigned to the past. Nowadays, you can just pick up a graphic tablet and create a masterpiece in .png format without any wastage at all. But these young Belarusian painters are not ready to say farewell to the old discipline and give up on their art just yet. Here we present to you our eight favourite young Belarusian painters.
Tasha Kapyushon (Minsk)
Tasha’s work merges both postmodernism and contemporary art. Dark and deep, bright and monochrome, acrylic and markers, on canvas or on a backyard wall – all of these adjectives belong to Tasha’s artwork. Regardless of her young age, the artist already has quite a broad portfolio and has already had her first solo exhibition, in Vitebsk.
All of her paintings are a sort of self-portrait. Inspired by events, emotions, sounds, smells and people, the artist internalizes all this and expresses whatever moves her, leaving no place for indifference with her strokes.
Zhenia Ramashev (Grodno / Paris)
Zhenia was born in Grodno, studying at the college and university there, while being fascinated by symbolism. About two years ago, he moved to Paris, where, after a certain creative search, he decided to try out a more expressive, abstract and emotional kind of painting. Speaking about his work, he said:
“You study the lines, the plastics, and at any time you have the right to change the direction of your move. And this changes your thinking radically – you never know what is going to come out in the end. And as a result you are overwhelmed by this freedom.”
Nadzeya Sayapina (Minsk)
Nadia works with watercolours, preferring abstract expressionism with a rich colour pallet. With each new period in her life the artist changes her approach and technique, transforming her paintings. She recently organized a project entitled The Music of the Brush. While a musician is making the sound magic on stage, she is listening to the music and strives to illustrate its dynamics and atmosphere on canvas, which eventually turns into a unique performance happening in the here and now. About this project, she said
“My aim is to create a concept but also based on the live impulses of the clear and conscious perception. I enjoy opening up to the spectators and engage with my work and to create a dialogue that encourages them to open up too and interpret the music and art themselves. If I try to generalize it, having analyzed different periods and forms of art, the core thing I cannot imagine my art or myself without is depth. The possibility of understanding the immensity of everything that exists, which is my endless muse”
Andrey Anro (Smorgon)
A photographer and painter from Smorgon, Andrey entered the world of painting in 2013 with his project Lost, in which he created a series of oil portraits of the deceased. In doing this, the artist wanted to draw attention to the problem and express his own feelings caused by the subject of loss. This was later followed by a few other series: Face in Shadow, where Andrey was actively using political images, and The New World, which was based on a series of the magazines from the late ’80s, and the paints poured onto the pages to highlight the subject of the Soviet utopia. He has had a few dozen exhibitions, three of which were his own.
Nasta Shakunova (Mozyr)
Markers are a pretty serious artistic tool for Nasta Shakunova, an artist from Mozyr. A pencil with a colourful spongy core has become her perfect tool for illustration of the human beauty in her Pop Art-inspired portraits.
“In my first year of school I was in the chess club, and when I would see my peers working at easels in the classroom next door, I would be very jealous. Next year, I was no longer jealous of anyone. I had started attending the arts studio myself. The markers were really a great support to me at some points, particularly when I was living in a tiny room where most of the space was occupied by the bed.”
But this is still far from the end: other works by Shakunova are made in pencil, watercolours, and oil. She also works on creating posters, illustrations, and logos on her computer.
Benoit Sabbage (Minsk)
This guy’s portraits are extremely touching in their depth and go way beyond what meets the eye: the colours and moods intertwine while the strokes deeply cut into the memory of the spectators passing-by. Benoit confesses that attention and acknowledgement is not so important to him as an artist. The main thing is to choose the right direction and follow it. When you come to notice that something significant has taken place inside of you or someone else, then you have to paint.
Valerya Lazuk (Minsk)
Lera is a graduate of Glebov’s Arts College, where she specialized in easel painting. As an artist she works with mixed media: oil and watercolours, ceramics, graphics and illustration, photography and collage, as well as her own signature techniques. She experiments a lot, but her heart truly belongs to oil painting. Explaining what inspires her, she said
“To me it is important to share my worldview, my vision, my feelings. Most often I portray nature: plants, flowers, trees, rivers, lakes – I feel connected to the world and the natural occurrences and I feel I am able to express them through myself, my feelings and relationships.”
Katya Krokhaleva (Gomel)
This artist creates her paintings in acrylic and oil passionately, almost in one go, preferring expressive colours and large formats. Katya graduated from Gomel Arts College, but it took her some time to complete the degree – the academic forms were not finding a response in her soul. Katya seeks inspiration in spontaneity, the freedom of a child’s creativity and the feeling of transience.
“Painting is the record of my emotional state, a psychotherapeutic experience. I like the work of non professional artists, art brut, because that is where I find the new, non-trivial approach to composition and colour.”