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Ilya Volykhine

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Ilya Volykhine (born 1967) is a Russian visual artist. Volykhine was born in Ust Labinsk, Russia, emigrated to the United States in 1991 and lived in New York City. He moved to Australia in late 2000 and has held several solo exhibitions in Australia and his work has been selected for group exhibitions, including the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2003) the Blake Prize for Religious Art (2004), Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award Touring Exhibition (2007) and most recently his work was seen in the Walker & Hall Award Exhibition at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery. He currently has a studio located on Waiheke Island that is open to the public by appointment during the summer season.

Volykhine uses a combination of oils and paper (archival copies of personal letters from his mother still in Russiain Cyrillic) on panel. His works are characterised by luminous vivid colours, or streaky browns set over bright backgrounds and the artistsʼ unique iconography infused with both memories of Russian literature and popular culture. The artistʼs versatile use of different expressive media is directly connected to the kaleidoscope of cultures that coexist in his personality: born in the Soviet Union, he has led a mobile existence in Russia, USA and most recently Australia; between the polymorphic vitality of Russian culture and the New York “melting pot” he delves into the idea of the accidental nature of the world as creative force, maintaining a detachment with respect to subjects and materials that allows him to freely explore and express his experience of the world in painting.

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