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If we were to talk about the art of Aleksandr (Sasha) Kouznetsov, our use of a little biographical note might be helpful. He was born in Kiev, one of the oldest cities of Russia and a part of Russia that is now called Ukraine. His childhood years were quite busy – so much so that most of them are hard to remember, especially the first and second years. These the critics refer to as the dark period of his life.

The second dark period was much longer, this occupied another twelve years. At this time which Aleksandr was being supported by his family, he began participating in sports … like jumping side to side, swimming in the bathtubs, and skiing from the bottom to the top of the highest mountain named Pimple. He remembers only one remark from his coach: something like changing direction at a race course. After this friendly advice, Aleksandr found himself at the hospital. He asked the doctor what had happened? The doctor told him about somebody’s broken back and a number of broken ribs. They started counting those ribs and Aleksandr learned his first simple mathematic operation. The second operation was not as simple, and it was quite surprising. In Russian they call this operation brain surgery.

All Russian children who finish the second grade were ready to join the Union of Grandchildren of Lenin if they knew the date of birth of their grandfather. Aleksandr was so enthusiastic about this bright challenge of his life that he began to learn. After three years of hard studying he already knew how to spell Lenin’s name making only one mistake. As you can see the operation on the brain was extremely necessary. Aleksandr’s scalp had been opened, and the doctors put inside the label with the correct spelling and the date of Lenin’s birth. Therefore, Aleksandr, in his early sixteenth year got his first important information and the second dark period was over.

There was a special time for Aleksandr when sports were forbidden for him. His powerful energy moved him to a new creative horizon.

Music became his next love. He built the stage in the dining room, stole drums from the fire department orchestra and bought a bass saxophone from a retiring circus performer. This gentleman told Aleksandr three magic words: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! On the second day of Aleksandr’s practicing, the biggest military factory located five miles from Aleksandr’s home went on strike and sent an ultimatum to the Russian government regarding noise in the working area. Soon musical instruments were confiscated and Aleksandr signed a paper strictly forbidding him to use or play any kind of musical instrument including his old gramophone.

Now, after all, we can see that Aleksandr was forced to become an artist. The first product of his magic brush was comic, a profusely illustrated comedy based on the life of Lenin and Stalin… The result of this artistic marriage was his total exclusion from the Union of the Grandchildren of Lenin. Aleksandr heroically survived this psychological stress and changed his style. From then on you never found any political figures on his canvases – except Adam and Eve and sometimes a couple of galloping horses.

In the meantime Aleksandr continued the eternal search for a better understanding of the mystery and meaninglessness of his own art which is still far from today’s first necessities…

"The aim of my art is to capture a true reflection of Nature, who is at once so forgiving and so fragile. I've always used a metaphorical style. I walk into painting as a storyteller. In most of my visual artwork - I tell the story of the suffering soul. I've seen happy moments, joyful events, but I'd have to say that these are not really interesting to me. Life is much deeper and more complicated than that. It's a chain of events - some of them easy to explain, most of them unexplainable - that fascinates me. I like to try to solve problems. That is the biggest and most important part of my life. There are countless themes for my art. However, I have to be completely honest and truthful in my performance.

I don't paint an apple as it is: fruit, juice, vitamins or color. I paint an apple that is hanging somewhere in between heaven and hell. One would think twice before eating it. I must know everything about that apple. What kind it is, where it came from, who the person was that chose it, why it is in front of me, and how it should be painted.

To paint people is even more interesting. It's mankind that brings to me much bitterness and sadness, but I have also found within humanity the most magcial instances of creativity, kindness, and self-sacrifice. I continue to preserve and paint those ideals and to communicate what I really think about you and I." -- Aleksandr V. Kouznetsov

View Articles >>
Vallerie Malkin. "Our Inspiration." Newport Life Magazine. Best of 2007:42-43.
Martina Hesser. "An Artist's Many Faces." Newport Mercury. Sept.14-20, 2005:12-13.
Noah M. Anacleto. "Sasha Kouznetsov." Nine. July/Aug 2003:34-35.

Aleksandr V. Kouznetsov
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