During my 3 week visit to Russia from February to March 2011, I had a goal of preparing a set of paintings for the art show “Russia: from the past to the future”, that will take place in Milano in April 2011. I based my painting on the photo references I took during my visit. I found that life situations, little life stages, were the most interesting to me, so I the decided to paint people. I honestly would like to say that I am not a portraitist, I have neither skill nor experience painting portraits, my intent was instead to capture a story.
The first painting is called “Free market” (in Russian “Конкуренция”). I went to the market close to my childhood home and took some pictures of old ladies who were selling pickles, made from vegetables grown in their country houses. It is very common that older people try making some money by selling different home-made food and other goods throughout the year. The characters in my painting are competing vendors who are checking out each others goods.
This painting is called “Samovar” (in Russian “Самовар”). Time to time on Russian roads you can see people selling something. In the summer time it is usually watermelons or honeydews, around rivers you can buy fresh fish though out of the year. The character of my painting is selling antiques in the middle of winter. He had a really wide variety of glasses, little statues, old charcoal irons, a gramophone and of course samovars! To tell you the truth, his stuff was not cheap, but what an impressive collection!