This is a Russian artist you’ll be seeing a lot in this blog. His name is Vladimir Sevostianov, he is 60 and lives in one of the oldest towns of Russia, in Vladimir. He says that the town is “for him” because they are both Vladimirs. He is full of fascinating stories that accompany his pastels and paintings. Now, look at one of his pastels, and then let’s think about why it is Art.
When I ask people what they see here, they – in unison – say they see a Mother and Daughter who are together, peacefully and lovingly united. And, perhaps, they are holding something in their hands. Some say it is the daughter who gives something to her mom, some say it is the mom who is the giver. The Mother is not fawning over her daughter, she does not dominate the girl, nor does she control or direct her. Yet, mother’s slightly inclined head indicates she is attentive to and engaged with the girl.
Many – thinking of their mothers – feel they miss exactly these moments, states of calm union of almost two equal human beings.
Thus, this simple pastel brings about a complicated emotional storm of longings and memories. This piece is capable of firing up a multitude of neural networks in our brain and it is doing it continuously. People do not tire up repeatedly looking at this pastel. Each time some new memory surfaces up and a different, new kind of smile can be seen on their faces.
This simple piece creates a universe of meanings and feelings from which viewers freely draw those which are most relevant for them. That’s Art.
From the theoretic point of view, I am absolutely amazed by the artist’s ability to create so many meanings and feelings by such laconic means.
Anton Chekhov believed that “brevity is the sister of talent”. Well, the reverse (“talent is the brother of brevity”) is not always true, but it is – for Sevostianov.
He does not detail the face of the Mother. There’s no need for it. Moreover, where there a face, it would not allow the viewer to imagine the face of her own mother. All the feelings of the mother are “transferred” via the silouette, the lines. And, of course, the colours. Or, to be more precise by the tone of the colours.
Well, if you happen to get on this page, I would really appreciate your thoughts about this pastel.
Hope you enjoy it!