Ukrainian artist Roman Konstantinov presents home thoughts from abroad - GulfToday

Ukrainian artist Roman Konstantinov presents home thoughts from abroad

artist Roman 2

Scene from Alassio, Italy, in oil on canvas.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The art journey that began on October 5 at Abu Dhabi’s N2N Gallery with Sunlit Strokes: My Summer Art Affair, an exhibition of works of Ukrainian artist Roman Konstantinov, is coming to an end on October 25. The event invites you to immerse yourself in the radiant and mesmerising moments of summertime, through the eyes and emotions of the artist. Each artwork on view serves as a vehicle for conversation, with the luxury of leisure and the boundless Muse that are the companions of summer. Sunlit Strokes beckons viewers to begin an expedition during the season of sun and warmth, where colours, textures and emotions serve as a universal language connecting people in fruitful and friendly dialogue.

Hailing from the enchanting landscapes of Crimea, Konstantinov is acknowledged by critics and art lovers as someone who brings a special artistic flair to the contemporary art scene. His creations are a testament to skill and passion and may be seen to be believed! His works, created in the evergreen schools of Impressionism and Pointillism, breathe life into the beauty of Nature and the multifaceted wonders of our world. His palette and technique infuse vitality and harmony, making each painting a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. No wonder why he consistently attracts attention and wins the hearts of viewers each time his works are displayed.

One cannot separate the artist’s works from his Crimean surroundings. “You can take a man away from Crimea, but you cannot take Crimea away from him”, you could say. The sweetness of his native land has impacted him greatly as an artist; it is found in his works in a piercingly nostalgic way. The Crimean Mountains with their luxuriant and varied forest vegetation and its southern coast, sheltered by the mountains from cold northern air possessing a mild Mediterranean climate where exotic plants and flowers for perfume grow, are grist to his art mills. Plus the sea of course! Can anyone take the sea away from Crimea? You can neither take Crimea away from the sea nor the sea away from Crimea. Crimea is almost an island and connected to the European continent only by a strip of land about 5–7 kilometres wide. The scenes of forests, the sea and wild creatures grace Konstantinov’s works in an outpouring of tribute to his homeland.

artist Roman 1 An oil on canvas work titled Green distance.

Pointillism, where small strokes or dots of colour are applied to trick the eye from close but make abundant sense when viewed from a distance, and Neo-Impressionism, where light and colour embrace in formalised compositions, are part of Konstantinov’s oeuvre. Human intervention is minimal in his works: you would have to look hard to see the human species. The nil or negligible human presence has the effect of monumentalising Nature and the creatures she nurtures within her in Konstantinov’s creations. The isolation of handmade products such as garden chairs or boats only adds to the immensity of the places they occupy.

So, when the winter sun beats down into a forest warming the deer, when young stalks are roused in the strength of blazing sunshine, when the blue sky showers benediction on a fertile land or when boats sit quivering for action as if they were eager terriers (an Italian scene which favourably compares to Crimea), one cannot but appreciate Crimea as Konstantinov sees it. The artist helps us – many of whom are expatriates - see our own lands with different eyes. This is his biggest achievement.

“Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!” – Sir Walter Scott.

Konstantinov was born in Crimea in 1982. He graduated from the Crimean Art School (Simferopol) and the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (Kiev). After graduation, he worked as a restorer at the Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine, taking an active part in exhibitions. From exhibiting his works in Kiev, Simferopol and Yalta, he recently had a personal exhibition at Paul Scott Gallery in 2022 and another show in 2023 at Tolbooth Lanark. He is now settled in the UK with his family.

His works are held by the Kiev Museum of Modern Art; they also form part of private collections and galleries in Ukraine, Russia, the USA, China, Switzerland and the UK. “I have had a love for painting since childhood, since my grandfather was an artist,” he says. “I loved watching him during the process of creating a new piece of art. I used to sit quietly and watch as he squeezed paint onto the palette and prepared materials. It was some kind of magic! I definitely felt this was something I would do in future.”

Catch up with Konstantinov before his efflorescent works, like summer, disappears from view. He is a truly gifted artist and the gallery offers a unique opportunity to encounter his artistry firsthand and to experience the wizardry of his creations. N2N Gallery is an Abu Dhabi based art gallery born in 2013 with the ambition to help everyone discover the rich diversity of the European Academic School of Painting, as well as the high professionalism of contemporary European artists and their exceptional art. Founded by art aficionado Natalya Muzaleva, N2N showcases sculpture, graphic art and paintings in a fusion of many art genres. The gallery’s collection is renewed constantly and currently comprises over 170 original works, including paintings, graphics and sculptures.

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