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Stunning images:
Alexander Volkov

Alexander Volkov was born in Leningrad, Russia in 1960. He attended a special English school from the age of seven to 17 and began painting in high school at the age of 14.

Volkov attended the University of Leningrad where his chosen field of study and degree was in Geophysics. His specialty was the Aurora Borealis, which may have been the result of his life-long obsession for light.

During his college years, Volkov attended night drawing classes at The Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, one of the most prestigious learning facilities in the world. He considered entering the Academy, but under the old regime in Russia one painted "Socialist Realism" or nothing at all. Volkov refused to be told what and how to paint, so he began working with underground artists’ groups and developed his own amazingly unique style.

Volkov’s life was changed forever when he met a young American girl in 1987 in St Petersburg and married in 1988. After moving to the United States, he has lived in Holland Township, New Jersey, for 11 years, where he and his wife Barbara are raising their three children Alice, Peter, and Nicolas.

Vocationally, Volkov’s first eight years in America were not happy ones. Always dreaming of earning a living as an artist, he taught high school to support his family. He painted evenings, weekends, holidays and began showing in a few small local galleries. But it wasn’t enough. The pressures of teaching stifled his creativity and a great frustration overcame him. Then his life changed course again when he decided to visit Carmel, California. A gallery director there recognized his extraordinary talent and his career as an artist finally began.

Virtually a self-taught artist, Volkov said, "We really teach ourselves. If you want to learn, you will always find someone to learn from, be they dead or alive, great or unknown. You learn from everything you see and hear around you — if you are willing to pay attention. Perhaps, during my forming years, I have made a lot of unnecessary mistakes, but at the same time I have had the enormous advantage of picking my own teachers."

And so they were: William Turner, Vermeer, Franz Hals, Rembrandt, and many others from the previous centuries as well as Edward Hopper, Maxwell Parrish and Andrew Wyeth of the 20th century. There was also Beethoven and Satie, Nabokov and Steinbeck, Einstein and Tarkovsky. They were school and university friends, physics professors and struggling artists.

"They have all taught me something — how to see, how to hear, how to understand things and, most importantly, how to understand myself. I cannot separate any one of their voices from the voice which I hear inside of me and which has become my own voice."

Combining a lifelong fascination with architecture, landscape and still-life subjects, Volkov brings drama and poetic expression into his work. With his unique vision, he merges mood and atmosphere, evoking powerful emotions that create harmony.

"There is no greater mystery to me than the conflict of light and dark. In the way they clash and penetrate each other, there is the source of everything. Whether I paint a landscape, a still-life or a portrait, within it there is always a story of light travelling through darkness.

Sharing Alexander Volkov’s success are patrons Marty and Diane Herman of Exposures Gallery in Sedona. "Marty and Diane have a love for art and the artists they represent." Volkov’s collection can be seen at Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art in Sedona, Arizona, 561 Hwy. 179, 520-282-1125.

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