Born in Nizny-Tagil Russia in 1942
Stroganov University (Moscow,Russia)
Now works with: painting, architectural art, murals, sculptures, collage portraits, books in a style that he characterizes as Art Epica, Figurative and Abstract
Vladimir Sulyagin was born in 1942 in Nijni Taguil, an industrial city in Russia. He studied at Fine Arts School of Moscow. Then, he worked in the regional section of The Union Artist for ten years. In 1985, he became an independant artist. He was a teenager when Stalin died. He grew up in an universe of shadows where censorship prevailed. His work results from his country’s history. Through his numerous collages, we notice his admiration for writers, poets or philosophers. We ask him : « Why did you make the portrait of Marina Tsvetayeva first ? », he answered « Because I loved her, I loved her as the poet, the philosopher and the passioning human being she was. »
After being censored in the beginning of his career, he gained in reputation. Collages, ceramics and paintings of Vladimir Sulyagin are now covering famous museums’ walls, starting with the Royal Festival Hall in London. We can also find his pieces all around the world : Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Pouchkine Fine Arts Museum in Moscow or the Tate Modern in London. In Russia, communism and historical events created a forgotten generation that needs to be rediscovered.
The essence of portrait
Visage. Face. Image. Mask. Persona.
Portrait is a house where coexist what is hidden and what is revealed. Idea - plan - Theater. This is always an architecture of links, pictural and psychologic, and signs coming from the future. This is virtually a flow of information, stood still where sense can change according to who is the viewer and what are the circumstances.
The perestroïka in Russia permitted to see again faces of a bigone area - all these artists’ faces or well-known persons, persecuted by the Soviet regime… They began, for us, to be more significant and sacred, bathing into the perfidious juice of destiny. This is the reason why we made great poets’ portraits - Tsvetaïeva, Akhmatova, Mandestam… - and researched a language that could express the tragic aspect of their lives.
Emerging from this is the path of the Epic writing: an image, a distinctive detail, an universal symbol… - we can finally, in someone’s portrait, associate signs that refer to the great History and to the tangible life. They dance all together, lightnings - rainbows - cherry blossoms and prison bars and the stars in the middle of the night and the planet Earth under my hand… Meditation. Melancolia. Everything can happen: dream in a dream and reality without borders and shadows.
Technics and support. The difficult choice is to find the right support to translate the visual idea. It’s then much easier, an alchemy is on: the character’s aspect and distinctive features are shaped to embrace the potential of the chosen material. The Paper cutouts, its color, its craftsmanship make us immediately think about China; when it’s made of oil painting, Europe comes rather in mind, - and with this technique we have wider possibilities which I still have to explore. In the same time there is a search for innovation and unexpectedness; it feels good to meet it - but this is not easy to believe, more precisely it is hard to seduce and to convince the viewer.
And it takes time, a lot of time… We need freedom, a lot of freedom…
Moscow – Paris,
- Mixed techniques