Valentinovich Vlasov

Russia • Tyumen • 1962−2003
He was born in Tyumen on November 19, 1963.
Spent his early childhood in Tyumen, school years in the village of Orbelyanovka near Mineralnye Vody, Stavropol Territory. I studied at the art and design department of the Tyumen College of Arts with a break for military service (I left from the third year). Served in the Army on the border with Afghanistan in the town of Kushka (1981-83). Since 1986 - a free artist. In parallel with his studies in painting, ceramics and graphics, worked as a slinger, stoker and handyman. Taught ceramics in the school number 62. Participant and co-artist of 1989 exhibition "The Streets and We" (together with O.Fedorov) and several other collective exhibitions.... In the 90s he was mainly engaged in computer graphics. Died on April 18, 2003.


Oleg Vlasov is an artist... I don't know what to write next... Not a simple fate? Powerful, bright personality? Dramatic worldview? Some different phrases, clichés ... Oleg was my friend, a close friend, maybe that's why it is difficult ...?

As a painter, he did not leave many works. But each of them is a stage in life, the result of a long period of reflection, "living"... He was, in fact, not an indifferent and attentive viewer, reader... Free from belonging to any professional communities and groups artist, person.
Flipping through albums, reading books, leisurely, long walks through the halls of Moscow and St. Petersburg museums, and then discussing what we had seen, read, and felt was a significant part of our life, perhaps the most important part, which then - and sometimes immediately - poured into the writing and making of our paintings, texts, poems, linocuts, drawings..
His fascination with the French - Utrillo, Sutin, Modigliani left its imprint in such early works of Oleg as "Yard", "Snow", "Winter" (1985).One of my favorite works of his "Dream" (1985) is inspired by the song of Alexander Rosenbaum "Grey in the apple trees horse". In my opinion, it also has the influence of the paintings of Petrov-Vodkin and the films of Andrei Tarkovsky... It's a very Russian, quiet, contemplative work. There's something inexpressible in it, something better left unsaid than said... A horse rides by, a chapel is reflected in a lake, a boy sleeps in the grass, a silent angel flies by..

Oleg has never been shy about talking about his "Teachers" in art and his passions... In "The Drunkard" (1987), his passion for Hals partially materialized, in "The Ark" (his most mysterious and large-scale work. He painted it for four years), Australian art and rock paintings... The emergence of "The Flautists" (1988) is directly connected with the music of Gluck, his famous theme from "Orpheus and Eurydice", but not only... "The Rope-Walker" (1986) - with the song of Vladimir Vysotsky "Four-Quarter Way" and very distantly, conditionally, I would say, with the painting of Chagall, which Oleg loved and admired.. The same way, however, as Russian icon-painting, lubok, works of Impressionists, Gauguin, Van Gogh, German artists of the early twentieth century and many other phenomena in Culture, world painting, graphics, cinema, music, poetry, literature... In Life and in Art..

His enthusiasm for ceramics has left a number of high-class works of authorship, made in a different manner, from the miniature, tabletop "The Broomstick" to numerous plates, masks and such monumental, albeit not large in size, works as "Crucifixion" and "Adam and Eve" (1992)

His graphic cycles and drawings are imbued with love and sympathy for man, no matter what place he occupies in this life ("The Wiper," "The Jester," "The Drunkard," "Leo Tolstoy. "The Jew in the Straw Hat" (1986-87). Separately, I would like to single out the drawing which I have called "Loneliness" or "Under the Weary Lantern" (1986) and the amazing in depth, expressiveness and precision of correspondence to the literary and poetic primary source - illustrations (rather, even the author's drawings) to Sergei Yesenin's poem "Pugachev" (1986-87) and Leonid Andreev's story "Judas Iscariot" (1985). In my opinion, no one has created the image of Pugachev in the world graphic space better than Oleg, and no one will ever create it again... The same as Yevgeny Kibrick's Cola Brunion, Gustave Dore's Don Quixote, or Gennady Kalinovsky's Alice in Wonderland.

Despite the abundance of names and phenomena that have left their mark on the artist, the main and absolutely unalterable for me is the following (I will not quote Anna Akhmatova about "when you would know from what straw...") behind each work of Oleg is his personality, his personality, his soul..
By and large, it's a rare phenomenon in the modern art world..

The works of Wolfgang Borchert, a German writer who lived only 26 years and who left behind one play and several collections of stories in 1947, were once introduced to Oleg by me, and to me by my Father. The result of this acquaintance (again, not just "acquaintance", but "immersion" in the poetic prose of Borchert), are two paintings and three graphic works: "Night" (1986), written based on the story "City", and "Giraffe" (1987) (one of the program works of Oleg, perhaps, the most recognized and loved by the audience) which, in general, is a pictorial interpretation of the last phrase of the story "Day and Night Trains":

"You're a railroad, rattled, screeched, you're a railroad track: whatever happens on you, whatever makes you rusty and dull and silver and shiny.
You are a human being, and your giraffe-like brain is high up somewhere, on an infinitely long neck. And no one really knows your heart..."

Translation by N. Man. "Wolfgang Borchert's Selected Works.
Moscow Art Literature. 1977

Oleg Vlasov was... Why was he? There is. The artist always remains to be in his work... Present invisibly. Lives inside each. Influences the viewer. Shares his thoughts, his concerns, his sadness, his warmth... He exists.

Oleg Fedorov


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