I’ve come across the work of Russian artist Valery Koshlyakov a few times now, and every time I do, I fall even more in love with it. He creates all sorts of art: sculptures, paintings, huge installations, a majority of which use packaging materials as a the main component. Having started his career using the classic canvas as a base for his paintings, he moving to cardboard and packaging in the early 90’s, and boy am I’m glad he did!
His paintings are my main focus, more so because his style is similar to a way I like to work, but also because a few of his compositions are of places I traveled to last year, and I want to study the way he captures them for when I eventually pick up my paintbrush again.
A quick Google search wont tell you much about this guy. He isn’t on Wikipedia, and he doesn’t have a fancy website or online pages of self promotion, so I cant tell you too much about him…but I did manage to discover that he was born in 1962 in Salsk, Russia, and he studied at the Rostov Art College Grekov before becoming a designer for a local music and comedy theater.
In 1988 he became part of the young artists association called “Art or Death“, the name being a reference of the revolutionary motto ”Patria o Muerte”, in Rostov-on-Don between 1986-1990. Other members of this group included: Artists Sigutin Alexander, Yuri Shabelnikov, Basil Slepchenko and Nikolay Konstantinov. Three controversial exhibitions later, one of which was held in a communal public toilet… he moved to Moscow where he discovered his now celebrated on-cardboard painting style and technique.
Below are a collection of images of the paintings he did using this style. Many of the locations and dates are unknown, but a few are just about recognizable as famous European and Russian monuments.
2. Grand Opera, Paris (1995). Tempera on cardboard.
3.High-rise on Raushskaya Embankment (2006). Tempera on cardboard
4. The Parthenon , Greece (2004). Tempera on cardboard
6.The Amphitheater, Rome (date unknown). Tempera on cardboard
7.The Temple of Nika. (date unknown) Tempera on cardboard
8.Paris, Notre Dame (2008). Acrylic on canvas
10. Roman Forum (2008). Tempera on cardboard
11.Parthenon Temple (2006). Acrylic on canvas
12.The artist in his studio.