"ART OFFERS ME AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE, I LOVE DOING IT. NOTHING ELSE CAN COMPARE TO IT."
Boris Ivanov was born on the 14th of August 1957 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. From a military musician family, Boris Ivanov arrived in Moscow in 1973. He worked at a factory as an artist-designer, but in the mid-seventies, Boris Ivanov realized that he was born an artist. Realizing this, he entered the Moscow Art College in memory of 1905. And in 1989 he graduated from college with excellency. In the artist’s own words, he found himself, and found his style two or three years later.
In 1992, he began to work with genre compositions together with Plein-air Schizzos of Moscow city landscapes and, of course, with portraits. He began to exhibit when he was a student, in Australia.
His first collection was called ВF, "The Planet of Fats" in 2000 (the Moscow journalist L. Urazova suggested it). Nowadays, Boris Ivanov continues to work on this series, the themes from life are inexhaustible. The characters, of course, change externally and internally as it seems to him. He works extensively with pleasure, taking enjoyment from the process. In 2006, he began to make dolls. So as to make the paintings less boring, he shapes his figures with a light grotesque, without any rage. He hopes his works have kind irony, and its thick contours simply are big and welcoming.
Since 2013, he has been cooperating with doll gallery of I. Myzina "Vakhtanov" in the Central House of Artists, and with “Dolls Space” gallery. He has participated in endless projects and exhibitions. He also took part in the International salons of dolls at Tishinka from the gallery "Dolls space." Together with them, he has also exhibited in the Moscow puppet theater on Spartakovskaya street.
Boris Ivanov has painted over three thousand paintings, which many are registered in private collections in Moscow. He has fans in the West. One, living in New York, who has already collected a hundred of his work. Another living in Germany, with a similar approach.
His work is situated in the family collections of many Russian politicians and artists, such as M. Gorbachov, V. Zhirinovsky, Yu. Luzhkov, I. Kobzon, N. Mikhalkov, O. Tabakov, M. Zakharov, I. Oleynikov, Yu. Stoyanov, A. Kucherena, M. Lesin, E. Malysheva, just to name a few. Boris Ivanov's work can also be seen at the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in Jersey City and at the New York Tabakman Museum of Contemporary Russian Art.
"Art, isn't that the meaning of life?"
Boris Ivanov's art gives us that perspective that innocence can still exist within us. Despite the situations and circumstances, if we try, we can still foster that innocence that is sometimes so necessary. Ivanov’s work of art allows us to believe, to accept that there are no inhibitions, no fears, and no shame. His art offers us a generosity of what we sometimes want to say, yet we simply do not. It is knowing that within a whole, at the same time there is nothing. And when we think there is nothing, it is truly full of it all.
Q. Tell us about some of the highlights of your artistic career, such us memorable shows or publications?
A. One of my brightest memories was the exhibition that took place at Zalman Gallery, which took place in 1998. The inauguration was opened with the Vice-president of Russia, Michail Gorbachev.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. I started painting in 1973 with oils, trying to copy famous works from art books.
I was fascinated by how artists painted, and how they created art. And the fact that I could, I decided to try myself and I started painting.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. My sympathy varies... from Pieter Bruegel, Nicolas Feschin, to Valentin Serov, Geliy Korzhev (to name a few).
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. To reach absolute craftsmanship and skill.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I prefer to work alone, and with the passing of years, I prefer it more and more.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. My aim is to look at life and problems with Irony and Humor.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. Your job is to bring joy, otherwise, it’s not a job for you.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Besides making art, creating more art.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Work hard! To be successful you must and consistently work hard.