If you think that you are a person who is distant from art, please wait, do not jump to conclusions. How many artists and genres of art do you need to know to be considered a part of the world of paintings? 5? 10? Up to 50? Some styles are clearly associated with names: Bosch, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Klimt. If you see a few paintings of each, you will not confuse them with others. Likewise, when you see several paintings by the artist Leonid Afremov, you will unmistakably recognize them in the boundless world of contemporary art.
A world of tens of thousands of paintings
Enter the name “Afremov” in the search engine of a browser, and you will be pelted with a storm of colors; the magic of paint, frozen in the moment of the plot, which is now, and what is going to happen next is unknown… As you go through his paintings, you are breathless from feelings and trying to understand: why is there so much color? Who was that man who could see like that? Why when even it is dark, his paintings are so brightly lit with lanterns? Now you involuntarily imagine the wall of your home, on which such a picture would look so good.
Leonid Afremov left this world on August 19, 2019, at the age of 64 years. However, for those three decades, during which he did not once let go of a palette knife, he created his world – a bright, bold, provocative, and memorable. A world of over 10,000 originals and about 100,000 copies.
Painter of pure color
Leonid Afremov is called a Russian, Belarusian, Israeli, American, and Mexican artist. Perhaps it is the last definition that fits most accurately. His paintings are like Mexico itself, frozen in a kaleidoscope. Afremov chose Mexico for a long time as a place where he could work in peace, where he had enough experiences and was never bored.
When Leonid was asked how he achieved a variety of gold colors, he answered: “Just one tube of yellow paint and one of white. Everything else is just a mixture of colors. I don’t like ready-made colors, they’re dead. When I mix the paint myself, it’s beautiful. I’ve spent my whole life fighting over pure color!”
The advantage of the palette knife that the artist worked with is that the paint does not mix. But the complexity of this technique was in speed: you have to draw very quickly, otherwise, the paint dries up, and reapplication lubricates the color and gives additional unnecessary relief. Afremov was criticized many times for the speed with which he painted. His work was called a business, and the art school created by Leonid during his lifetime which was making copies of his paintings – a machine industry. Sometimes the artist could create 10 and even 15 paintings a day. It took him about 30 minutes to recreate an idea on canvas and sharpen it with a palette knife. The master himself explained this by the fact that immersion in the picture captures him until the finish. If the process took too long, he lost interest in drawing.
The result is an army of thousands of fans and collectors of Afremov’s art. And people would always find something to scold him for…
It did not hurt Afremov himself: the number of orders was growing, and the school, in addition to creating copies of his paintings, always had enough people willing to learn the unique technique created by the artist.
Expensive is not necessarily the best
During his lifetime, Leonid Afremov kept in touch with admirers of his work. He was an artist who loved the life that swirled around him, on his canvases, in the midst of the discussion of his work. Even after his death, the painter’s family was not going to raise prices for his works of art, explaining it by what Afremov himself believed: his paintings should live in people’s homes, not in the collections of millionaires, and the availability of his paintings was due to a reasonable price.
The impact of Leonid Afremov’s work on his coevals is undeniable. The lightness and explosive mood of his paintings attract many impressionists. Some are trying to copy the technique, others – plots, and some – all together. But the family, which is engaged in popularization of creativity of the master, assures: the paintings created in Afremov’s workshop are unique, their authenticity can be checked with the help of a special application that will help to avoid fakes.
Magic in touch with the world
The geography of Afremov’s work is the whole world. There is no place that would not be in his paintings. Sincere stylistics and genuine happiness, which they radiate, find a response in everyone who has ever seen the work of Leonid Afremov. In Playa del Carmen, where the artist spent the last years of his life, there is a museum. The artist’s family still has a huge collection of paintings, most of which were not exhibited. These exhibits, as well as the favorite paintings of Afremov himself, became its heart.
The paintings created over 30 years and their millions of copies will make us talk about Afremov as the greatest impressionist of his time. He gave the world his style and special signature, mood and artistic techniques, volumes, and “mirrors”. All that is called the magic of paintings by Leonid Afremov, which outlived him for many dozens or perhaps hundreds of years.