Meet Alexandre Evgrafov, one of Toronto’s hidden art gems
Our featured artist today is Alexandre Evgrafov, who like many artists, has quite the interesting path. He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, where his father was a key figure in his childhood and went on to be the main inspiration for his works. When he was 17, he moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia to study at the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture for 10 years. In 1991, Alexandre made the spontaneous move to Toronto, Canada, where he would formally establish his studio in 1997.
Alexandre’s work has been recognized at the early age of five: he was beginning to explore the interaction of colours, and discovered the power of paint and texture. While at the Repin Institute, his colleagues and mentors recognized he possessed tremendous talent. In fact, his early works are displayed amongst the Academy’s collections. His travels with other artists in Russia and Europe gave him the inspiration that culminated in his move to Canada. There, he entered a creative metamorphosis, diving into exploring the colourism genre through his fascination of the South.
His long and rigorous training of the masters, along with the more contemporary movements such as colourism, combines to create pieces that are vivacious with colour, while utilizing classic techniques. Alexandre’s work on scenic colourism pieces are one of his defining art styles. In his piece Saint Petersburg Memory, Alexandre’s love for the place that birthed his talent is palpable.The energetic piece has colours strategically placed to visualize Saint Petersburg in its full glory, with the yellow caps of the buildings gleaming with luxury, amongst the harsh splashes of red in the foreground. Additionally, his fascination with the female figure has led to captivating studies and visual productions of the female body.
His works are currently featured in the Newport Brushstrokes exhibition ‘Explore the Color’. The exhibition highlights colourism, which was inspired by the impressionist movement. This bold genre utilizes colour as the main focus of the painting, specifically bold, unapologetic colours that combine and contrast for paintings that appear to come alive from the canvas. In this collection, Alexandre’s work stands out with pieces that feature landscapes coming alive with aggressive colours and strokes. The paint in his pieces, such as the Suzdal River View, are applied so thickly that it almost feels like the painting is coming towards you. Alexandre has seen significant success during his career. Many of his works can be found in museums such as the Museum of History of Leningrad, Academy of Fine Arts of Russia, and Pushkin’s Museum in France. Today, his works are available for sale at temporary exhibitions in Toronto, Newport Brushstrokes, or at his personal studio. For opportunities to meet with the artist, check his Facebook page for upcoming events, where he is happy to discuss his creative process.