Back in the late 60's in the capital among the artisticbohemians began to talk about a strange bum. He walked around the Moscow snack bars, dipped a cigarette butt into ketchup and painted on napkins portraits that he sold for a glass of vodka. And for these drawings in the West, pay millions, because Pablo Picasso himself calls this vagabond the best Russian draftsman. Many did not believe this ...
Anatoly Timofeevich Zverev - an artist whose paintings are now in the best collections of contemporary art - this was the name of this mythical character.
About him wrote other legends, he himselftold tales ... He was born in Moscow, in Sokolniki, in 1931, in a working family. In his memoirs, the first award for his artwork, the painting "Street traffic", was received in 4 years. He was presented with a portrait of Stalin in a beautiful frame.
Drawing in his school taught N.V.Sinitsyn is a pupil of the great AP Ostroumova-Lebedeva. Art critics try to connect Zverev's creativity with the Russian avant-garde of the beginning of the century, to make him the heir of great traditions. Of course, he is essentially a Russian artist, but finding some historical roots in Zverev's manner is unrealistic. He himself did not trifle - he called his teacher Leonardo da Vinci, and even argued that he could, by a small piece, identify any picture in the Tretyakov Gallery.
For some time he studied in the famous MoscowRegional Art School in memory of 1905. The reasons for the exception are different: whether the slovenly appearance, or active discussions with teachers - he doubted their ability to teach something. And Anatoly Timofeevich Zverev became a painter.
Plots for biography
Alexander Rumnev, actor, dancer, choreographer -this is the name of the person who made the artist Anatoly Zverev known for the first time. The paintings he saw back in the late 1940s, struck him with unprecedented freedom. They met when a young painter in Sokolniki Park with a brush-like brush and two buckets of whitewash and cinnabar with careless movements painted the fence with unprecedented birds.
During the festival of youth in 1957 in Moscow,in Gorky Park, they arranged an art studio. For many young Moscow artists this was the first shocking acquaintance with expressive abstract painting. Americans condescendingly told supporters of socialist realism about freedom of work with paints and pure art. And then a Russian artist appeared who was not well-groomed and strange. Spitting out a blue and green paint on the cloth of the two, he picked up the mop and in ten seconds of violent movements appeared an exquisite female portrait. Zverev slapped the stricken foreigner on the back, dirtying with paint, and said: "Give up this abstraction, let me teach you to draw ?!"
"I am a professional, not a craftsman!"
30 thousand works created Zverev-artist.Pictures, drawings, collages - his legacy is huge. Many of them mediocre - the author himself often said that after the 60s he did not draw, but entertained others. But among the creations of the late period, among the "sweet faces" are many amazing masterpieces.
Amazing drawing accuracy, lightness andThe expressiveness of the lines is characteristic of the graphic works of the master. In the confidence of the stroke, the result of daily work is visible - for good reason contemporaries talk about a permanent notebook and a pencil in the hands of Zverev. But the fantastic scale of natural talent is obvious. Genius drove the artist's hand and in series about the Moscow zoo, and when he painted nude: "Sitting nude" (1950s) - a masterpiece of world-class. His illustrations for Gogol, Cervantes, Apuleius are amazing.
The complete absence of templates in the approach to paintingServed the master a bad service. Too many collectors are faking. Famous AZ does not always mean that the painting was painted by the artist Anatoly Zverev. The master's paintings are too valuable at auctions, so that there are no attempts to imitate his virtuosic manner. The guarantee of the authenticity of the Zverevsky canvases is beyond the power of each smear, which is difficult to forge.
Life as a performance
It is difficult to find a single art historydefinition of such a phenomenon as Zverev. The artist, whose paintings have undoubted stylistic unity, can not be attributed to some generally accepted current. The famous collector George Kostaki called Zverev the first Russian expressionist. With him argued that the main thing for the artist is the accuracy of life impressions, and passion is only one way to bring them to the viewer.
There were those who call Zverev a masterperformance. Impressive process of creating a master of his creations. An amateur of improvisations, he was not averse to entertain others. Even when he had both brushes and paints, he worked what was near at hand. Effective work was done with a piece of beet, he applied strokes with a shaving brush, a knife or just fingers. He poured paint on the canvas, smeared it with rags, shoes. It was necessary to protect the place of work so that the spray does not stain the people around. The birth of the masterpiece was fascinating not less than the picture itself.
Reward or punishment
Unprecedented freedom was imbued with all life,which led Zverev-artist. His paintings became popular and could bring a good income. Anyone else, but not Zverev. Outwardly, it fully corresponded to the myth of a hungry and poor holy fool, marked by God. But this gift became a reward or punishment - it is unknown.
And yet among the husks of the image of a persecuted drunkardit is possible to see a person completely corresponding to the size of talent. Much is said about Zverev's poems that have survived to us, his diaries. This is evidence of a high culture, a keen mind, the true artistry of this person.
Schizophrenia, burdened by alcoholism
In the memoirs of those who knew Zverev closely, there is nouniquely noble image - a victim of circumstances or a prisoner of the regime. There is a sincere, vulnerable person, ready to help anyone you meet. Remember and absurd, heavy, with traces of prolonged exposure to alcohol and damage to the subject's psyche. Loneliness and restlessness were both his conscious choice, and the forced state.
He did not fit well into any creativeunification, and the state system as a whole. Envy of his talent on the part of his colleagues and complete rejection of the way of life on the part of the authorities led to open conflicts. The creative union did not know such an artist as Anatoly Zverev. Exhibition of his works in 1965 in Paris was the beginning of his popularity abroad and gave a signal to the persecution in his homeland. Until his death (1986), he periodically became a patient in psychiatric clinics, and he was not admitted to official opening days because of a lack of education.
He was called the Russian Van Gogh, his fate was similar to the life of Modigliani and Pirosmani. But the magnitude and originality of talent made Zverev's name in the history of culture no less significant.
He carried the cross of his gift to Russia, in Moscow. There will be an interesting museum of the artist and more and more people will be able to discover this amazing new world - the world of Anatoly Zverev.