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Serge Marshennikov

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~Sophia~
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These paintings are flawless. The technique is superb and the richness of colors reminds me of the Pre-Raphaelites. Very seldom do I see art of this quality nowadays. It almost seems as if he took lessons from the Renaissance masters themselves. K-Mac's selection is particularly breathtaking, the translucent effect on the robe that shows the skin underneath is probably one of the most difficult things to do in oil painting. And the way he paints the draping cloth... well, I could go on...

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However, it is not enough to have the ability of rendering so realistic images - it is of equal if not more so the importance of what is done with the ability... most of these seem to be versions of classical poses set to more contemporary times, and more as studies than anything regarding specific theming, let alone regarding universal theming...

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However, it is not enough to have the ability of rendering so realistic images - it is of equal if not more so the importance of what is done with the ability... most of these seem to be versions of classical poses set to more contemporary times, and more as studies than anything regarding specific theming, let alone regarding universal theming...

I am not sure I understand what you mean. Visual work (even a study) inherently projects some kind of outlook on reality that can be taken as a theme.

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I am not sure I understand what you mean. Visual work (even a study) inherently projects some kind of outlook on reality that can be taken as a theme.

A sense of life is not a theme, except perhaps in its loosest meaning... but a theme does come from the sense of life...

"A theme may be specifically philosophical or it may be a narrower generalization. It may present a certain moral-philosophical position or a purely historical view, such as the portrayal of a certain society in a certain era. There are no rules or restrictions on the choice of a theme, provided it is communicable in the form of a novel. But if a novel has no discernible theme—if its events add up to nothing—it is a bad novel; its flaw is lack of integration." Ayn Rand

While she wrote this with regards to literature, it does hold true to the rest of 'fine art'... what is a 'one shot' deal in a painting can be spread over many pages of a novel - yet the principle remains... studies are, properly, means to ends - if they reside on their own, then they are incomplete, in much the same as a description narrative within a novel... themes are what express the values of the artist, and the more universal they are, the greater the work - and, conversely, the more restricted and particular, the lesser the work...

A work of Art, as Rand pointed out, provides a visualization for contemplating being in one's own ideal world... since a person lives by altering his/her physical background - the given world he/she is in - to serve that person's purpose, that person must first define and then create that person's own values... but to best do so, that person need a visualization of those values - the experience of sensing being in a universe in which those values have been successfully achieved...Art, in effect, is a 'metaphysical mirror of the person"s soul,' as Rand wrote, 'an expression of the sense of life'... properly, she then went on to state, 'what should be reflected is in the nature of a salute'...

How, then, does one go about this visualization? Rand said that the closer an artist comes to a CONCEPTUAL method of functioning, visually, the greater the work... this is because it is thru concepts that a person functions in the world - and it is thru the visualization of concepts that a person transmits intelligibility...

Thus theming, to be effective, means being conscious of the act, of knowing what it is which is to be the theme, and setting the props, as it were, on the stage of the universe within the four sides of the canvas... if one does not know what one is theming, then the work is an act of blindness in construction, however well the technical aspects may be in the rendering... which is why so many even realistic artists play with forms and shapes and colors without much regard for the props from which these forms and shaped came, and while ending with a realistic rendering, it is one with more in the way of a 'range of the moment' in what it is they have painted...

As I mentioned, most seem to be classical poses - poses used for studying the figure... dressing them in finery does not change the essence - it is still a study, with very undefined or superficial theming of a sense of life but not consciously articulated...

On the plus side, these are pleasant works with pleasing figures and well rendered material and texture... and if one were of you in a portrait, then could see a desiring to have it on your wall, an expression of your 'inner self', worth looking at day after day after day... but otherwise, unless as studies of techniques, they would end being boring works to see all the time...

Edited by anonrobt
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As I mentioned, most seem to be classical poses - poses used for studying the figure... dressing them in finery does not change the essence - it is still a study, with very undefined or superficial theming of a sense of life but not consciously articulated...

I agree. His paintings may be executed well, but they communicate nothing. He might as well have photographed those women, if all he was going to do was copy what was in front of his eyes.

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I agree. His paintings may be executed well, but they communicate nothing.

At the very least (of course it says a lot more - it is not just a sculpture) ... a certain view of man is projected by the manner in which the human figure is presented. It has natural proportions and healthy appearance. Faces, when shown, are (unless dreaming) expression-full giving hint of underlying consciousness. This is NOT a deprived creature, doomed to pain and misery. These women are delicate and sensuous, utterly feminine, and project a very positive view of human sexuality and thus underlying positive view of man. There is something innocent, untainted about them.

I could say a lot more but I only wanted to demonstrate that these certainly do not communicate nothing.

These are decidedly romantic - classically romantic. Not every art figure ought to be heroic. There is a place for all kinds of romantic renderings.

I wanted to add that, for me, in this case, additional value comes from the fact that these are very good technically. I look at modern art a lot (btw this painter is only 38 years old) and I do find a fair amount of thematically good art but not nearly as much technically exceptional romantic art and certainly very little contemporary art that is both.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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These women are delicate and sensuous, utterly feminine, and project a very positive view of human sexuality and thus underlying positive view of man. There is something innocent, untainted about them.

So? Great, you like the models he chose for his paintings. They have well proportioned faces and look healthy. Why paint it? Why spend hours painting when all you're going to do is copy what's right in front of you.

I could say a lot more but I only wanted to demonstrate that these certainly do not communicate nothing.

Really? What are the paintings' themes? If you think they demonstrate something then expicitly state it. I'm not talking about what philosophy or "sense of life" you think you think comes across. I'm asking what the entire composition is supposed to represent.

These are decidedly romantic - classically romantic. Not every art figure ought to be heroic. There is a place for all kinds of romantic renderings.

They are decidedly not romantic -- they're naturalistic. The artist determined what to put in his composition based on what was in his studio when he painted it.

Also, I never said that every art figure ought to be heroic. I'm not even sure where you got the impression that I said that. What I do think is that static portraiture is boring and artistically worthless.

When you consider the blank canvas and the limitless, imagninative visions an artist can can fill it with, painting women reclining in the nude reflects either a lack of amibition or a lack of talent.

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I wanted to add that, for me, in this case, additional value comes from the fact that these are very good technically. I look at modern art a lot (btw this painter is only 38 years old) and I do find a fair amount of thematically good art but not nearly as much technically exceptional romantic art and certainly very little contemporary art that is both.

I understand your sentiments... and to some degree concur - but

by the same token that is used as an excuse for purveying fantasy such as Boris and similar [and yes, am guilty of this to some degree, tho less as the years go on]... there is a difference between imaginating and fantasizing - the one deals with the possibilities of the real, while the other is mere wishfulness... in olden times, when life was little for most other than to survive to reproduce, and what one did was much as what one's grands did - little wonder fantasy took hold, for reality was for most very grim and with little real enjoyment, and there was little in the way of seen improvement, so imaginating was almost unheard of... but today, there is no excuse, tho it is such an unknown idea few ever encounter to distinguish from the fantasy [consider Science fiction, for instance - how much is fantasy and silly war tales in kingdoms -KINGDOMS in the FUTURE????? - and how little is real science fiction, the hard-core stuff, like Charles Sheffield wrote]

for technical wonders in art, there are some in the world, but as far as I have seen, they are indeed naturalistic - and lack in imagination, and I could show some that boggle the senses... so I have in general come to accept that if reasonably realistic yet imaginative, it is enough - as long as the idea of being imaginative is pushed, for the technical will come of its own eventually...

I myself am not so fully realistic, for lack of patience, not for wishing, and knowing even that I could be so were it not at the price of forsaking a lot of ideas I'd like seeing rendered, even if not as 'real' to see as would be possible... but in the forums I present my renderings, I do push the issue of imaginating, of seeing beyond the 'just there' and strive to get those who do render so 'photoish' to expand their capabilities and 'see' with their mind's eye and put down that, with the same care and deliberation as they do in essentially copying photos or the table set-ups in front of them... but - most just say they not have that imagination, that they'd be lost if not doing as they have... and while the act of creating [which is , really, what this is all about] can be taught, I've not found a way of doing it online as Ive come to be able to in person...

Edited by anonrobt
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They are decidedly not romantic -- they're naturalistic. The artist determined what to put in his composition based on what was in his studio when he painted it.

You are quiet mistaken. The sheer drama of the lighting (figure and fabric), contrast of colors, in the first painting, for example, make it about as romantic as it can get.

Naturalism is about avoiding sentimentality.

I am pass the point, in my activity on the internet, of feeling the desire to prove the validity of my judgment to every stranger that comes along (or saving every soul).

This was a gesture of me wanting to share some of the good out there that I see. I have absolutely no interest in arguing about it. If you personally do not see a value in it - please just move on. I have more interesting things to do with my time than attempting to convince you.

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These are very beautiful, and well done paintings.

Can I just say though, I wish there were more paintings like this that had a more modern feel to them? And by modern, I am strictly referring to being able to tell the subject of the paintings live in this century. A lot of the art work (and most of it stunning) that I see posted in this and other Osit forums seem to be the same type of paintings just by different painters. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the painters (or the fans of their work) - but I am bewildered why I cannot find something that is just as beautiful and well done that doesn't reflect the modern world more.

The only exception I can think of is some of the pieces at http://www.cordair.com/

But that cannot be the only gallery out there with this type of work. (Not that I want to see a bunch of Bryan Larson knock offs - but just more - I dunno - something I can relate to more than works like this.)

But thank you for posting them - again the are beauitful.

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Naturalism is about avoiding sentimentality.

Really? How interesting. I like non-sequitors too.

I am pass the point, in my activity on the internet, of feeling the desire to prove the validity of my judgment to every stranger that comes along (or saving every soul).

I see how it works. You make a weak argument and then refuse to justify it when challenged. Makes perfect sense.

This was a gesture of me wanting to share some of the good out there that I see. I have absolutely no interest in arguing about it. If you personally do not see a value in it - please just move on. I have more interesting things to do with my time than attempting to convince you.

You know what you should do? Add a disclaimer IN LARGE TYPE that you have no interest in anyone responding to your posts. Because as far as I see it, we're not wasting your time, you're wasting ours.

Edited by Myself
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You know what you should do? Add a disclaimer IN LARGE TYPE that you have no interest in anyone responding to your posts. Because as far as I see it, we're not wasting your time, you're wasting ours.

No, its you. I appreciated the link.

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These are very beautiful, and well done paintings.

Can I just say though, I wish there were more paintings like this that had a more modern feel to them? And by modern, I am strictly referring to being able to tell the subject of the paintings live in this century. A lot of the art work (and most of it stunning) that I see posted in this and other Osit forums seem to be the same type of paintings just by different painters. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the painters (or the fans of their work) - but I am bewildered why I cannot find something that is just as beautiful and well done that doesn't reflect the modern world more.

Because the contemporary world is not compatible with such art. It would be a ridiculous juxaposition even as fantasy. Clashing philosophical premises make some things impossible.

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I just finished reading The Romantic Manifesto and unless my reading comprehension sucks, I just don't get calling these paintings naturalistic. If the woman had a zit on her ass, maybe. :lol:

Sophia, your posts are certainly NOT a waste of my time. In addition, I have spoken to many others, both online and in person, that visit this site and thoroughly enjoy the art you post. Please keep it up!

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I fail to see how depictions of beauty, sensuality, femininity, etc. are not universal themes. This is off-topic, but in perhaps another thread I would be interested in seeing the kind of art that the critics of this particular artist find to be consummate examples of "universality in theme," "talent," "imagination," and "artistic worthiness."

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These are very beautiful, and well done paintings.

Can I just say though, I wish there were more paintings like this that had a more modern feel to them? And by modern, I am strictly referring to being able to tell the subject of the paintings live in this century. A lot of the art work (and most of it stunning) that I see posted in this and other Osit forums seem to be the same type of paintings just by different painters. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the painters (or the fans of their work) - but I am bewildered why I cannot find something that is just as beautiful and well done that doesn't reflect the modern world more.

The only exception I can think of is some of the pieces at http://www.cordair.com/

But that cannot be the only gallery out there with this type of work. (Not that I want to see a bunch of Bryan Larson knock offs - but just more - I dunno - something I can relate to more than works like this.)

But thank you for posting them - again the are beauitful.

You may want to look through contemporary art magazines at your local book store, such as American Art Collector (http://www.americanartcollector.com/), a great magazine which includes an online version along with your subscription to the print version. Marshennikov's Sleeping Beauty was featured on the cover of the February, 2008 issue, and the magazine often highlights galleries from around the U.S. which focus on selling similar art.

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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