Russian born artist Igor Medvedev brings a very unique and appealing approach to the contemporary art scene. His paintings are clean, bright and refreshingly open. His sense of color and light is uncanny. From panoramic Mediterranean vistas to sun warmed courtyards-the intensity of his palette is astounding.
Capturing the essence of feeling and soul found in a sun-bleached facade or a beckoning passageway streaked with shadows-these are the small miracles of Medvedev's work, captured for the viewer before they fall prey to the bulldozer and commercialization of modern times. And, it is hoped, to prevent their destruction so that we can enjoy them, and visit them with the respect they demand.
Whether it's a pale textured wall radiating a cool violet shadow, or a brilliant magenta boat calmly at one with its reflection, a quiet beckoning tranquility pervades Medvedev's paintings. Each work conveys a synchronicity of light, shadow and texture that captures a magic moment for the viewer. "I am always interested in chiaroscuro interplay-it gives the composition drama and direction," says Medvedev. Indeed, it is among the planes of reflecting light and shadow that the artist captures the mood. Deep blue triangles of shadow direct the viewer's eye to a given focal point-around the corner, through a doorway, past a seductively open window. These passages, paths and entrances beckon almost irresistibly. Far from simple, there is a deeper complexity that is slowly unveiled each time the viewer looks again. And much more than plainly documenting a scene, Medvedev carefully chooses the point of view in each painting to create an active interplay with the viewer, as if building a story, a mystery, a play. Drawn into the scene as if it were a stage set, viewers are allowed to imagine themselves there to interact and join in the heat of the afternoon or the stillness of the landscape. It is as if viewers can ask "What Is happening here?" and proceed to create their own reality. The addition of texture to many of Medvedev's works adds to this feeling of reality, patina, history. The decay of time evident by worn stucco wall is almost palpable. The textured surface adds a third dimensional quality as it catches light and casts its own shadow. One can almost feel the last rays of the day emanating from the walls and streets.
With their pungent colors, unabashed sunlight and depth of shadow, each work reflects a unique stillness and a clear sense of the time of day. Often, Medvedev takes his images from the "magic hours," whose special moments are found only in the early morning and at dusk. Vibrant green doors, a yellow awning, blue chairs-an entire spectrum of pigments-is reversed for the time area where sunlight meets shadow.
Renowned not only as a painter with superior skills, Igor Medvedev is also an artist whose bronze sculpture has attracted a wide audience. This explains the sculptural quality found in many of his paintings-the curved forms of a boat's hull, the worn steps, the edges of a dwelling rounded and smoothed by time. These curved, almost feminine lines and forms are absent of extraneous elements. "I am reaching for a simplicity of form, brought alive with the spirit of light to give a feeling of objects' clear essence," says Medvedev.