Alumni Spotlight October 2011 Iliya Mirochnik, 2006 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts
Iliya Mirochnik, recent winner of the
Flomenhaft Gallery YoungArts Contest – a contest to design a mural to grace the halls of the Chelsea Gallery – is an artist working primarily in traditional media. The Ukraine native moved to the United States early in his childhood. Influenced by Nabis and Fauve painters, particularly Pierre Bonnard and Andre Derain; Iliya concentrates his work where color, form, and subject matter unite in a graceful, sensitive, and emotional harmony. “Only through a careful and studious analysis of the art periods, artists and art of the past, can one come to develop a firm stance and confidence in order to create something truly meaningful in the present,” said Iliya.
Precisely for this reason, Iliya chose to study at the prestigious Repin State Institute of Fine Art in St. Petersburg Russia. The Academy is known for stressing the classical rigorous disciplines; rooted in the 19th century, of painting, drawing, and composition, through which one can come to a personal understanding with their own artistic style. Iliya received his BFA in 2011 and is working toward his MFA. Read More about Iliya Mirochnik and the Flomenhaf Gallery: http://www.flomenhaftgallery.com/news/YoungArtsmuralwinnerrevealedSept15.php
We recently caught up with Iliya and asked him to share some insights about the YoungArts program and the life of a visual artist:
1) What is the most important thing you learned from YoungArts? Young Arts, like any organization that unites young artists, be it an art high school (like LaGuardia High school of Music and Art) or a higher art educational system like any art school or institute, provides a systematized miniature “art world” for young artists, who could not and have not yet experienced it. I think it works to enforce the will and desire, at that age, to continue working in that difficult, lonely, and often unrewarding field. Mainly, it motivates, not simply by the rewards themselves, but by bringing together so many young and talented people so that one is reminded that he/she is part of something larger and more important that oneself, a whole generation of artists, while at the same time reinforcing ones individuality. This, I think, is what Young Arts has done for me. 2) What do you wish you knew before starting your arts career? I started my art education at the age of 12 or so, when I first began taking art lessons privately. I don’t really remember what I knew at that time, but it was probably close to nothing. I think that everything that I didn’t know and that which I know now, was learned and experienced at somewhat the right time. If something is going to sneak up on me from around the corner that will have me exclaim “Wow! I wish I had known that in advance!” it will probably happen in the future. 3) What inspired your mural for the Flomenhaft Gallery? I could probably say that two things inspired the mural. The first was New York. The second was the Nabis. The Nabis were particularly known for the amount of importance, which they put into les arts decoratifs, like murals, folding screens, vases, etc. So it all came together through the theme of Central Park, where there would be plenty of room to play with nature, trees, leaves, and other such things. I sent 2 sketches to Flomenhaft Gallery, both of which were inspired by Central Park. The one that was chosen is a personal depiction and interpretation of the Central Park Conservatory Water and Boat House with sailing model sailboats. 4) What has surprised you most about the project, p or what has been the most interesting part of it? The best part about the project was that I was doing something that I wanted to do. It’s pretty much as simple as that. Even though we discussed and made certain alterations on the mural with Eleanor Flomenhaft, it was still a project of which I was completely in charge. It’s simply that I’ve been in such situations where it was necessary to completely cater to somebody else’s wishes. Every artist has to go through that, but it doesn’t mean it’s too enjoyable. Other than that, it was the sheer size of the thing. Definitely the largest I have ever worked. That too was exciting. 5) What is your favorite thing about being a visual artist? I think the answer is already in the question. It is safe to say, that my favorite part about being a visual artist, is being one, it’s creating work, it’s painting. 6) What are your future projects? My head is filled with future projects! Whether they will come to fruition, is another story, but I sure will do my best! First and foremost, I plan to finish the MFA program at the Repin Academy in 2013 and come back to the United States. In the meantime, while in school, I would like to try and organize an exhibition with my friends in school, here in Russia, and later, hopefully elsewhere. I think that group shows and collaborations with artists who have a similar sentiment and dynamic were and always will be very interesting. History is filled with such examples. I also will be entering art competitions.