“WINDOW TO THE WORLD, WHERE IT WANTS TO LIVE.” Yuri Obоkhovsky exhibition

The outgoing winter was marked by stormy snowfalls: blizzard, blizzard, freezing rain, which bent the trees to the ground.
It seemed that the frost would have no outcome.
And here, in one of the halls of the Central House of Artists in Moscow, it is as if you immerse yourself in heat, the luminosity of the seaside midday, “bathe” in streams of sunny “rain”, inhale the aroma of wisteria and roses.
The enchanted view absorbs the verdure of the sea waves, the fluttering of light sailboats with graphics of masts under smoky-pink clouds is the “Koktebel Bay” canvas.
Next to it, the picture “Terrace by the Sea” beckons with comfort, olive flavor of the interior, framed by a flower vault. In the depths of the canvas, the terracotta roofs of houses bask in the clear air, and mysterious mountains grow in the distance.
And still happy landscape “After the rain” – juicy multicolored rain-sprinkled southern garden, applied pasty brushstroke workshop hands.
And around there are still many works in the technique of oil painting and watercolor – an exhibition of the artist Yuri Obukhovsky – as a window into the world where people want to live.
Corr: – Such happy people live on earth, that from a young age they have a premonition of what they will devote their lives to: theater, mathematics, or, for example, painting. We can say that you are one of them?
Jur. About: – I think you can. I became interested in painting early, somewhere around thirteen. I really wanted to draw and I entered a children’s art school.
Reporter: – Were there any prerequisites for your hobby in the family, in the environment, in the genes, finally?
Jur. About: – In the family hardly. My parents were engineers. True, my mother at home well copied from the cards. But no more than that, at the do-it-yourself level. Maybe something was in the genes, father’s ancestors from the Polish gentry. Apparently, something was postponed: the desire for brightness of life, Polish chic, festivity.
But the environment clearly influenced me. I was born in Perm, but since childhood, from the age of 4, I lived in Ukraine, in Chernigov. The ancient city of Kievan Rus: amazing pre-Mongolian architecture – cathedrals of the 11th, 12th centuries, civil buildings in the Ukrainian Baroque style – everything was impressive.
The softness, lyricism of the Ukrainian landscape with pyramidal poplars, a variety of flowers, and the picturesque Desna River – all fascinated.
I tried to draw it all. But even in early childhood, before school, I remember, I was struck by the book Russian epics, with colorful illustrations by artists of Palekh. I really liked the pictures, I leafed through them, reviewed and loved these epic heroes, heroes of Ancient Russia. I remember, I was especially admired by Ilya of Murom, who seemed to me the most powerful, brave and kind. Who knows, maybe the Pleshans somewhere in the depths of my childish soul also laid the foundation for the brightness, the saturation of the colors of life.
Reporter: – Some of the teachers – artists remained in the memory?
Y. On: – Pavel Fedoseyevich Bredyuk, a teacher, is remembered with gratitude. He had a great influence on me as an artist, and as a person. He knew how to put himself in the children’s team, was demanding, but correct and benevolent. He selflessly loved art and instilled this love in us.
Corr .: – After leaving school where did you study?
Yu. Ob: – Entered the Penza Art School. There was a high competition – 7 people per place. I was accepted. And among the teachers, too, were decent people. The drawing was led by Boris Dmitrievich Borisov, a wonderful person and artist. He ignited us with his emotionality, his optimism, his love view of life and art. I graduated from college in 1987.
Corr .: – And how many went to conquer the capital and become a Muscovite?
Yu. Ob: – No, there was no such task. My father was simply transferred to Moscow for work, and my parents and I settled in this city, which I loved very much. And he entered my art.
Reporter: – When did you start participating in exhibitions?
Yu.Ob .: – For the first time, my paintings in the technique of oil painting and watercolors appeared at exhibitions in galleries in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1989.
So began my “free swimming” in art.
In 1992 he presented in London watercolors. There were good reviews, the work entered the catalog. I received a certificate of participation. In the period from 1993 to 2006 he participated in a number of exhibitions of Russian artists in Finland, Sweden, the United States with approving reviews in the press.
In the Moscow Manege in 2008-2009 he participated in the exhibitions “Traditions and Modernity”.
And every year, starting in 1998, I exhibit my canvases at the Central House of Artists in Moscow, both at group and solo exhibitions.
A number of my paintings have been acquired in private and corporate collections in Russia and many countries of the world.
Corr .: – In art, be it a poetic word, music or paints, creators go in two main ways. Some people bring their delight to the beauty and harmony of the universe, as if pulling away from earthly existence.
Others reveal, sometimes hypertrophy the dark sides, hoping in this way to turn people away from the abominations of life. Both ways are legitimate. But nevertheless, those who bring light and good, more fall into my soul. Your canvases reveal in you an adherent of the first way.
Yu.Ob .: – You are right, there is a lot of negativity in life, but my intention is to resist it. I glorify joy, harmony and beauty, and therefore artists are close to me – optimists who glorify the world of good and light.
Corr .: – Which painters are especially consonant?
Yu.Ob .: – Perhaps, the name of Heinrich Semiradsky, a Polish-Russian painter, immediately comes to mind. Remember his paintings on antique themes? The harmony is amazing – beautiful images and picturesque perfection.
I achieve the same as he does – to create on his canvases a world in which a person would like to live, a world free from evil.
Artist Ivan Pokhitonov, Russian painter. His subtle, intimate landscapes are close to me. They are captivated by the airiness of the portrayed, the emotionality, the subtle relationships in color and mood. Admires almost miniature technique, rare skill. “My” artist and Arkhip Kuindzhi, master of panoramic compositions, romantic, creator of decoratively sounding canvases. He was especially famous for the image of illumination effects close to nature.
Corr .: – Well, from Europeans? Goya, for example?
Y.Ob: – For me, his painting is too thickly emotional, creates nervous tension, although, of course, a great master.
Corr .: – And the avant-garde? And Salvador Dali?
Yu.Ob .: – Let them experiment, freedom of creativity, the search for the new are necessary. But all this is beyond my interests. My soul they say nothing. And Dali? I admit his genius, but again, he does not touch my soul.
Corr .: – I understand that your interests are at the other extreme of art. And how do you react to the fact that looking at your work “After the Rain”, where the garden refreshed by the rain shines and the real feast of colors reigns at the ball: red, yellow, white — will call you an impressionist.
Y.Ob .: – There is some truth in this. Some tasks of the impressionists and I solve: color saturation, work in the open air, luminosity. And I strive to transmit sunlight, trembling, freshness of perception. But unlike the impressionist artists, I don’t chase the depiction of momentary. Why, of them, too, not everyone is concerned about this.
Corr .: – Your painting is close to me, it gives you peace of mind, repose, enjoyment of beauty. How do you define your artistic style?
Y.Ob .: – I believe that I am a romantic and my art is closest to romantic realism. In my works I strive for the romanticization of life, elevation above ordinariness, but on a natural realistic basis. I try to find and convey to the viewer a state of spiritual warmth, calmness, contemplation. I want, when looking at my pictures, a person finds peace in his soul for a while.
Corr .: – You succeed. And this is what causes my acceptance: in your pictures there is no “literary”, descriptive, given content.
Yu.Ob .: – You correctly noticed. I almost do not write “descriptive” genre paintings, but only what I myself like, what the soul is for. At the same time I am far from painting everyday storms and cataclysms in my painting.
And as an artist, I strive to go beyond the brink of formal skill, although I understand at the same time that without a purely professional mastery of the brush, it is impossible to cope with the task. But, I repeat, the soul requires romance.
Corr .: – I understand. You are able to envelop in a romantic haze even an ordinary motive. Here you admire the picture “Clean Ponds” – it would seem that the landscape could not be simpler: a wall of a house, a bench, a tree. But the evening light on the canvas creates a state of magic and the artist’s love for nature is felt. Very romantic, full of lyricism reading the topic.
Y.Ob .: – I am glad that you like my “Clean Ponds”. I love Moscow, its ancient streets, boulevards, for example, Gogol. The city is especially attractive for me at the transitional time of day: evening, morning — the borderline state of nature. This period of fragility enchants and asks for a canvas.
Corr .: – But the picture “Mykonos Island” is a very common story: small houses on the coastal cliffs are molded to each other with their frail balconies, clothes on the ropes, and swell at the foot of the buildings.
But the marvelous transparency of the air, the sunlight on the white walls and the colorful colors of the sea swell – everything breathes with true poetry and captivates with its romantic appearance.
I am impressed by the original image of your Karelia. I know this blue-green harsh land. But in your picture, the Karelian landscape looks fascinating: a pink glow of dawn on lake water, high pre-sunset clouds, pointed verticals of pines, mysterious white flowers along the banks – in all romantic mood. And it’s not enough to look at your landscapes of Italian and Greek cities: the streets that run down to the sea, bright colors on the fences, sailboats on the surface of the sea. And everything is literally flooded with sun, permeated by the sea air. This is the “Italian landscape”, and “Sunny Street”, “Portofino. Morning Light “and” Access to the Sea “, and” House in Epidavros “- in all the works you feel your ecstasy by the south, the sun, the happiness of life.
Yu.Ob .: – I really love the south, the sun, the sea. For me, it is a great joy to be in that atmosphere, not to hurry, not to tear, to surrender to complete rest. I love Greece. I have a special relationship with her, like there are no roots, then there is no Greek, but I feel something related. I love some special “crystal” light in Greece.
Corr .: – You and Italy have a magic country on canvas.
Yu.Ob .: – Yes, Italy captivates, but for some reason, with Italy, I’m on you. Maybe in time something will change.
Corr .: – But even now Italy lives in your paintings in its shining incarnation. And you feel your admiration for this land and especially this sea.
Yu.Ob .: – I love the sea, but not as a sailor, overcoming this element. And how loving the beholder. And I also love the mountains adjacent to the sea. They live an ancient life and beckon their secret.
Corr .: – About this “sings” your picture “Italian landscape”. With all the color saturation of the first plan: the flow of flowers along the road, the “ringing” vase with southern plants – a truly romantic song sounds like distant mountains in a blue-pink haze on the horizon. But looking at your exposition, I came to the conclusion: with all your love for flowers, the sea, the mountains, the main “hero” of your canvases is sunlight. He envelops, brightens, “indulges” the world of man. Works – “Samos Island”, “Access to the sea” are a convincing example. And in the painting “Greek Cafe”, the sunbeam, as if playing, penetrates through the scarlet floral “cloak” in the cozy courtyard, “strokes” the wall of the fawn house, illuminates the whiteness of the tablecloth, ignites flowers in large vases.
The sun you have a bewitching substance. “Sunny street. Portofino ”- here all the sheer witchcraft, sophisticated play of the sunbeam. He escapes from the fence with flowers, and she plunges into the shadow. Then the beam runs off to the right and the flowers in the vases and the wall of the house are littered, again runs to the left, and the house in green booths “flames up” with “flame” – a completely fabulous pictorial act. I recalled how once Kuindzhi was reproached with witchcraft for his “Moonlit Night on the Dnieper”. So you can be suspected of some special secret in the image of sunlight in the pictures.
Y.Ob: – Thank you for such an analogy.
Corr .: – When I looked at the exposition, I thought about the high aesthetics of your painting – everything is entrancingly beautiful. In this sense, a special interest in the big picture “By the Sea. Evening”. On it, you have chosen every detail: the interior of the terrace, the whiteness of the elegant tablecloth, the light flame of candles, the corner of the sea and the mysterious, fascinating evening light. Everything is incredibly elegant. But it is gratifying that aesthetics does not turn into formal aesthetics, because the poetic spirituality and sincere humanity of the artist “live” on the canvas. Amazing job.
Yu.Ob .: – For me, an artist – a realist, it is important your opinion that I am not going to aestheticism. This look is expensive.
Corr .: – Are you a happy person? How do you feel?
Yu.Ob .: – I am a very freedom-loving person. I never wanted to obey anyone. I dreamed of living and working at my discretion, in my understanding. Shel, where attracted. And certain changes in society allowed me to live as I dreamed. Experience has shown that the desired succeeded. My painting is in demand, it means that it resonates in people’s souls.
And you can say the words of Pushkin: “I am happy. If only in my life nothing has changed … “. I want to hope for it.
I look again around the hall – the exposition of Y. Obukhovsky, whom I don’t want to leave. An artist’s brush seems to me an amazing, motsart-style easy, but I understand: behind this ease is natural talent, artistry and a great many years of work. And I feel sincere gratitude to artist Yuri Obukhovsky for the joy of contemplating the beautiful.

Interviewed by Galina Snitovskaya