Artist Aleksandr Ibragimov opens up about the stories he wants to convey through his art

Artist Aleksandr Ibragimov opens up about the stories he wants to convey through his art

In a conversation with Indulge, Ibragimov also opened up about his exhibition in Bengaluru, 'Honouring 150 years of Impressionism'

From an unexpected challenge that sparked a lifelong passion to mastering the emotive techniques of Impressionism, this interview delves into the artistic journey of Aleksandr Ibragimov discovered their love for oil painting at the age of 37.

We explore how Ibragimov's friendly jest in Belarus led to a transformative artistic career, the influence of Impressionist techniques on their work and lots more just as he closes the curatin on his exhibition in Bengaluru, Honouring 150 years of Impressionism.

Q

You discovered your love for oil painting relatively late in life at the age of 37. What inspired you to pursue art at that point? 

A

There is an interesting story behind me starting to paint. I lived abroad in Belarus and rented an apartment from renowned artist Pavel Pepel. We became friends and one day at the table I made a friendly joke about his paintings (he is a professional artist who graduated from the Academy of Art and his paintings were in the style of Picasso, crooked bottles, etc.). I told him how he painted, I could paint even better. He went to another room and came back with paintbrushes and a canvas, gave them to me and said that I had a week to prove my point. That's how my passion for painting began. 

Q

Tell us how your perspective on how the revolutionary techniques of the Impressionists, such as their use of vibrant colours and broken brushstrokes, influenced your own artistic style and approach.

A

The impressionist painting method gives a great sense of freedom and one can express his/her emotions. It is important to me that the process of creating a painting is a free and joyful moment when emotional expression is freely splashed on the canvas, no matter what and how you paint with a brush a palette knife or fingers. I was lucky to have excellent professional tutors such as Belorussian artist Pavel Pepel and Russian artist NersesEritsian who helped me develop as an artist.

Artist Aleksandr Ibragimov opens up about the stories he wants to convey through his art
Emerging Palettes showcases diverse artworks from artists across different cities, featuring their initial creative endeavours
Q

You mentioned that a lot of your works are created 'plein air' (outdoor landscape painting), just like the Impressionist Masters. What challenges or unique experiences do you encounter when painting outdoors?

A

Plein air is a special feeling. People will approach you out of curiosity to look at you and the painting and it sometimes interrupts the flow of painting. But it's also a good moment to meet people who really love art. I had an interesting experience in London whilst painting near a pub with a beautiful view of the river with a small houseboat as my subject. I had only started painting and hadn’t finished when a passersby who had just come out of the pub said to me: “What a beautiful painting! I like it! I answered him jokingly: “If you like it, you can buy it!” His reply was: “I'm ready to buy it!” I told him that the picture was not finished yet, but he insisted on buying it there and then as he liked the stage the painting was on.

Monet’s Water Lily Pond and Giverny Bridge 2 (L-R) Artworks from the exhibition
Monet’s Water Lily Pond and Giverny Bridge 2 (L-R) Artworks from the exhibition
Q

Could you describe the emotions or stories you hope to convey through your paintings, and how you believe your work resonates with collectors globally?

A

As I have already noted before, there have been many interesting moments in my creative career. There are paintings that particularly touch the heart of the artist himself. Why? The answer is hidden in what feelings were in the process of creating the picture and the final result. That's why I try to paint something that affects me personally. I want to convey my own feelings to people who look at my paintings and to my collectors. I want them to get positive energy and at the same time feelings of peace. Positive emotion is a human need, no matter where on the earth one lives and therefore my paintings are being collected in all four corners of the world.

Q

Could you elaborate on how your emotional state influences your artistic choices and the techniques you employ in your work?

A

I want to mention here, that I also studied Art Therapy, where we looked at how drawing and painting is a real cure for stress. As I mentioned earlier, it is important for me that the landscape, still life or abstraction for the prospective painting touches my feelings. For example, searching for a subject in the outdoors (plein air) can take a long time, many beautiful places, but they may not be suitable for me and my artistic ideas and methods. This applies also to the search for photos for creating art in the studio. I often look through hundreds of photos and only one or two will suit me. I can't paint the same thing twice, I want a new experience every time.

(Written by Jaanhvi Nagpal)

Entry fee INR 50. On till June 30. Sublime Galleria at Vittal Mallya Road.

Artist Aleksandr Ibragimov opens up about the stories he wants to convey through his art
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