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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Vladimir Kush

Vladimir Kush

Vladimir Kush is a Russian-born surrealist painter and sculptor, although he prefers to refer to his art as metaphorical realism.

He was born in 1965 in Moscow and first began drawing and showing artistic ability at the age of three or four. He would often sit on his father's lap and finish drawings his father started. He started attending an art school at the age of seven in Russia. The first half of his day was spent in regular school, meeting requirements, and the second half of the day was spent in art classes until 9pm. He entered the Moscow Art Institute at age 17, and when he went for his mandatory two years of military service at 18 was soon set to painting murals and canvases rather than regular infantry duties.

The artists who he says have influenced his style since his first experience in art school are Monet, Botticelli, Bosch, van Gogh, Dürer, Schinkel, Vermeer, and Dali to name a few. Bored with the Cézanne-style painting his art school concentrated on, Kush switched to surreal images as a teenager and painted his first surreal picture at the age of 14. He experimented with different styles of impressionism after seeing a book of Salvador Dalí's work in the late 1980s but it didn't appeal because shape was lost in the style. Strongly influenced by his father (a scientist), he believes that realistic paintings show the artist's professional skill and draw the viewer in so that they accept the impossible images enough to see the metaphors in them and explore the different layers of meaning.

In 1987, he began to sell his paintings and exhibiting them within the Union of Artists. Around the same time he was invited to paint a series of portraits for the U.S. Embassy staff however he eventually had to curtail his work on the portraits after the KGB became suspicious of his involvement with Americans because of books he had read during his time with the military.

In 1990 he showed works in Germany together with two other Russian artists; he visited Los Angeles for a show and stayed in the United States.

In 1991 he allowed his dream to become reality. For a while he was able to rent a small home garage in Los Angeles in which to paint, but couldn't find anywhere to display them. He earned his money by drawing people on the pier in Santa Monica. Eventually he spent his savings on a ticket to Hawaii and slept on the beach in Santa Monica until the flight left days later.

His art was first noticed by the Asian continent and then spread into America. In 2001 he opened his first gallery, Kush Fine Art in Lahaina, Hawaii. He also now has another Kush Fine Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, California quote

Victor Bregeda

Victor Bregeda

"Russian-U.S. artist Victor Bregeda was born in 1963 in the city of Taganrog into a family of painters. The artist states that he has been painting since he can first remember himself. After completing his art studies at an art university in Moscow, Bregeda made a decision to go along with his own personal comprehension of what creative art was really all about. This was in direct contrast to the strict rules of the teaching he had received.

He was particularly attracted by the smooth painting espouced by the Dutch school of painting. Those artists who inspired him the most were Leonardo Da Vinci, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Bruegel, Max Ernst, Nikolai Rerikh, and he states, "I also like the French school of the 18th - 19th centuries...and in addition, the works of Andrew Wyeth. My artistic abilities are in my blood, thanks to my forefathers, and I grew up in a strong creative environment.

Bregeda's key directions are working with Plein Aire Landscapes, still lifes and portraits, performed in a metarealistic style with a strong influence of subconscious philosophy. The artist is using a mélange of techniques, materials and styles and tries to invent new ones. Victor's art is displayed in art galleries and museums nationwide and worldwide. In his works Victor Bregeda shows the real nature of things hidden from empirical understanding. "I base all of my artwork on observation or experimentation...not on theory."

Singers Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow, boxer Oscar De La Hoya have collected Bregeda as have actors Burt Reynolds, Connie Seleca, and John Tesh. Bregeda's artwork commands attention, it is both subtle and powerful. It is timeless, thought provoking, elevating in substance and flawlessly done."


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