Alexander Volkov was born in 1960 in St. Petersburg (then Leningard), Russia. His passion for painting started at a young age, he tried different mediums but gravitated to oil painting in high school. He attended a special English school for 10 years and in 1986 he graduated from the Department of Physics at Leningrad State University. Soon after graduating Volkov worked as an animator at Leningrad Studio of Science Films and later as a stage artist in a small Leningrad theatre.
The Russian artist began exhibiting paintings with a group of Leningrad artists known as the “Brotherhood of Experimental Arts” in 1981. The group was a conglomeration of underground art groups active in Leningrad during the 80s. He also joined a splinter group called “Ostrov” or “Island” which was a group of 30 artists who felt that their art work was not socialist realism nor extreme avant-garde. Volkov moved to the US in 1990 and has been working as a teacher and exhibiting his original and limited edition photorealistic oil paintings in all over. He has exhibited at universities and gallery such as; Princeton and Lembertville, New Jersey, New York, Carmel, Laguna Beach and Finland.
Volvkov reluctantly calls himself a “self-taught” artist. He says, “We really teach ourselves. If you want to learn, you will always find someone to learn from. You learn from everything you see and hear around you – if you are willing to pay attention. In my formative years I made a lot of mistakes but at the same time I had the enormous advantage of picking my own teachers. Here are some artists that taught me and influence my realistic oil paintings: William Turner, Vermeer, Franz Hals, Rembrandt and many others from the previous centuries as well as Edward Hopper, Maxfield Parrish, and Andrew Wyeth of the 20th century.
"They have all taught me something - how to see, how to hear, how to understand things and, most importantly, how to understand myself. I cannot separate any one of their voices from the voice which I hear inside of me and which has become my own voice."
Combining a lifelong fascination with architecture, landscape and still life subjects, Alexander brings drama and poetic expression into his art work. With his unique vision, he merges mood and atmosphere, evoking powerful emotions that create harmony.
"There is no greater mystery to me than the conflict of light and dark. In the way they clash and penetrate each other, there is the source of everything. Whether I paint a landscape, a still-life or a portrait, within it there is always a story of light traveling through darkness."
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