Based on Waiheke Island, in Auckland, Ilya Volykhine is a critically acclaimed artist.
His long list of accolades includes being a finalist in the 2016 Adam Portraiture Award and the 2015 Walker & Hall Art Award. International accolades include work in the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Blake Prize for Religious Art.
Ilya was born in Ust Labinsk, Russia, he and his family have lived all over the world; Ilya has exhibited and held residencies worldwide, from New York to Estonia. Similarly, his artwork can be found in private and public collections around the globe. Since moving to New Zealand in 2009, Ilya has exhibited throughout New Zealand in both solo and group exhibitions.
Ilya Volykhine’s paintings are darkly comic, the characters within his pictures battling their way through the anxieties and joy of life, his narratives loose, playful and chaotic. What lies at the heart of these paintings is Volykhine’s intuitive process, his willingness and confidence to allow the story to unfold as he paints, his expressive brushwork opening up a space for his characters to breathe, to take on a life yet unexplored
His intentions are not to celebrate or glamourize his subjects, but to simply depict them with truth and honesty.
“Since my work mainly grows itself by my hand, but with little of my mind, I have barely any thought or idea of what the painting will become when I start,” says Ilya.
“The painting then takes on a life of its own where I am simply a vessel through which being and pure creation play out their performance. This shifting idea allows my paintings to fall in and out of perspective and allows me to experiment with both highly controlled and loose mark-making.”
Ilya Volykhine - Short Artist Film