Lena Votkalenko – amateur and nugget


Nowadays there are so many talented artists that it is incredibly difficult to single out one or two, and at the same time, they are all professional in their creation. But still, there are exceptions – these are nuggets, amateurs. They draw on a whim, sometimes breaking all the canons of academic art and, nevertheless, attract us with their inexplicable charm and individual handwriting in the paintings. We suggest to you also get acquainted with such an artist – Lena Votkalenko, she is an economist by profession and an artist by mission, besides, a wonderful and responsible mother of two children. Her works are always different, unusual, surprising and definitely inspire optimism. She told us about her creative activity in the interview.

  1. Who in your family needs to be thanked for the talent?

The only one person who could masterfully draw in our family was my grandfather on my mother’s side. He was also not a professional artist, but this did not prevent him from creating beautiful paintings. Essentially, he painted village landscapes and scenes of everyday life of the villagers. The wooden canvas was used as a canvas because another material was not available to him at that time. I believe that my grandfather was very talented, he painted better than I did, and if he had developed his ability, he could have become an outstanding Ukrainian artist. Therefore, I think that I should thank him for his ability to draw.

  1. In what manner did your grandfather write? Is there something similar in your paintings?

If we talk about similarity, only the topic unites me with my grandfather: I, like him, love to draw nature and everything connected with it. Otherwise, our creativity does not coincide, in many respects, it is connected, most likely, with the time of birth, place and living conditions. I love the experiment in the field of forms, so I use different methods and techniques characteristic of modern art. I like the expression in the picture, bright, pure colors, non-standard execution. Because nowadays, academicism will surprise no one.

  1. Can you divide your work into periods that are radically different from each other?

Yes, but I would divide it not by direction or style, but by purpose. In my youth, I didn’t have a goal to become an artist, so I painted from time to time, depending on my mood and desire. Now I have another goal – to reveal myself as an artist, to show my work to society not only in Ukraine but also abroad.

  1. Who / what inspires you?

Inspiration lives with me always and ideas of drawings live in my head with a margin. Painting is the melody of my soul and way of life. Inspiration comes when a person is freed from everyday life and vanity to those who have pure thoughts and a bright head when you are ready for inspiration, for constant work and believe in yourself.

  1. How do you determine in what manner and with what materials to convey this or that idea?

This is mostly intuitive. For me, the process of drawing is always relaxing, a flight of fantasy and thought. I draw what I want, draw with my soul, and am happy that I am free in my choice and can afford it. I do not draw “under the order” and do not depend on the wishes, requirements and changeable mood of the client. My client sees the finished drawing and makes his choice based on the feelings and sensations that he feels.

  1. Do you try to convey a certain idea with your creativity and, if so, which one?

Of course, I try and hope that I convey, like all creative people who come up things that make our world more beautiful. I think that my work brings beauty and mood because there is a piece of my heart and soul in it.

  1. What are your future plans?

If we talk about short-term plans – to improve their skills, recognition in the market, to organize an exhibition, increase sales. To rise one more step in the creative way.

  1. Who supports you in your work?

First of all, this is my family, which always supports me in all endeavors. And of course, my friends, colleagues, artists, and spectators are admirers of my work. Their support inspires me, gives me the strength to go on. For this, I am very grateful to everyone.

Anonymous buyer of the most expensive picture of Jenny Savival was a secret Russian multimillionaire


An anonymous buyer of the most expensive picture of British artist Jenny Saville was a Russian investor, co-founder of Alfa-Bank Alexander Grinberg, this is the American edition news.artnet.

Let’s remind, on October, 5th at auction Sotheby’s in London for self-portrait “Propped” Jenny Saville has been paid $ 12,4 million which has helped Saville to become the most expensive among the living artists in the world. According to the above-mentioned publication, Greenberg personally traded on canvas by telephone, sitting in the last row in the auction hall.

To calculate the Russian buyer, about which almost nothing can be found on Google, journalist Kenny Shakhtar succeeded, sitting one row in front. He casually overheard the telephone conversation at the time of trading for the work of Jenny Saville. During the conversation, Greenberg was somewhat nervous as he had a rival for the same picture. He begged Helen Newman (head of the Impressionist and Contemporary Art Department of Sotheby’s – ArtsLooker) with which he was on the line to tell him: “Who is against me?”. Also, Helen insisted that he did not hurry with great rates, but did the next step in the amount of no more than 50 thousand pounds sterling. In response, Greenberg responded to her: “I’ll stop, I’ll stop.” After the bidding, both of them could be seen together, discussing the results of the bids on their telephone calculators.

Source: https://ukraineartnews.com/news/art/anonimnim-pokuptsem-najdorozhchoji-kartini-dzhenni-savil-vijavivsja-zasekrechenij-rosijskij-multimiljoner

The first time at Christieʼs: a picture created by artificial intelligence, sold at the largest auction for $ 432,000


This is the first time that the largest auction house sells a painting created by artificial intelligence.

At Christieʼs auction, a picture of the French team Obvious, created using artificial intelligence, was sold for $ 432,000. Initially, the work “Portrait of Edmond Belami” was estimated at $ 7,000.

When working on the Belami Family series, which includes the picture that had gone from the auction, the participants in the Obvious were forced to compete with two neural networks. The first algorithm — the generator — looked at 15 thousand portraits of the XIV-XX centuries and began to create its canvases, the second neural network — it is called the discriminator — distinguished “artificial” works from the real ones. “The goal is to make the discriminator think that the new images are real portraits. In this case, we have the result, ”said representatives of Obvious.

In May 2018, the Bloomberg Businessweek edition placed landscapes generated by a neural network on the cover. The algorithm was taught by programmer Robbie Barrat, who became known after he forced the neural network to generate images with naked people (in fact, the neural network created dozens of surrealistic images that many users considered ominous). Barrat used the same generative-controversial method as Obvious. ““ Neural networks will become one of the main tools in the art of the 21st century, ”the programmer believes. “This technology has a huge potential that we have yet to unleash.”

Russian oligarch accused Sotheby’s of fraud and claimed $ 380 million in compensation.


New York court sued Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev: he demanded that Sotheby’s be paid $ 380 million. The businessman’s side claims that the auction house knew about the true value of the paintings he bought through the Swiss art dealer Iva Boulevier, however hide the truth. According to Rybolovlev, the auction house “has substantially helped the largest in history fraud in the field of art,” ArtsLooker reports.

Recall that Rybolovlev accuses Bouvier of selling artificially inflated prices for 38 works for which $ 2 billion was paid. The collector asserts that Sotheby’s was aware of the true value of the work, but knowingly and deliberately made the fraud possible by providing official art- to the dealer, which indicated a specially overpriced value for artistic works. The lawsuit states that Sotheby’s is involved in the sale of a third of works purchased through the Boulevard, among them the work of Amedeo Modigliani, bought by Rybolovlev for $ 118 million, Gustave Klimt’s “Water Snakes II” ($ 183.8 million), and “The Savior of the World “Leonardo da Vinci, bought for $ 127.5 million and sold for a record $ 450 million.

Read: The sale of the most expensive painting Da Vinci helped Donald Trump to pay $ 95 million in debt to a Russian businessman

In the auction house, they reject all allegations in their address. It was noted that Rybolovlev’s charges of Sotheby’s involvement in fraudulent schemes are already being challenged in Swiss courts. In this regard, representatives of the company said that the New York court will also ask to stop the consideration of the claim.

Banksy painting worth £ 1 million self-destructed immediately after the sale.


It is not yet known whether the buyer who was willing to pay for her £ 1 million will take away the damaged “Girl with a ball”.

The self-destruction of “Girls with the ball” Banksy immediately after the sale at Sotheby’s. Photo: Sotheby’s

“The Girl with the Ball” is one of the favorite motifs of Banksy, but the large picture in the author’s frame exists in a single copy and was donated by the artist to the owner in 2006, immediately after the Barely Legal exhibition in Los Angeles. He put it at Sotheby’s with an estimate of £ 200–300 thousand, and the new owner was ready to pay several times more for it, but immediately after the hammer’s final blow, the unique canvas went through a paper-cutting machine hidden in a frame and ended up spoiled.

On this occasion, the auction house issued an official statement, in which he called the incident a new legend in the art world. True, so far it has not been reported whether the buyer is ready for its sake – and in fact, the work destroyed, to part with a million pounds.

Banksy himself is in the know – he posted on his Instagram page a frame from the auction room at the time of the secret mechanism, which was framed when it’s unknown when.

Scientists have learned the name of the model in the painting “The Origin of the World” by Gustave Courbet


“With a probability of 99%” it is established that the scandalous canvas depicts ballerina Constance Kenyo from the Paris Opera.

The visitor takes a picture of “The Origin of the World” by Gustave Courbet in the Museum of Orsay. Photo: Francois Mori / AP / File / TASS

To establish the identity of the model depicted in the scandalous picture of Gustave Courbet L’Origine du monde (“The Origin of the World”, 1866), is difficult for a very obvious reason – it depicts only the body of a woman.

Nevertheless, according to Agence France Presse, the French literary historian Claude Schopp is sure that the picture was posed by the former ballerina of the Paris Opera Constance Kenyo, who at the time of the creation of the work was 34 years old. Earlier it was believed that the canvas depicts Courbet’s mistress Joanna Hiffernan – not a very good version, as Heffernan was red-haired. But Keno contemporaries described as the owner of “beautiful black eyebrows”. In addition, she was the mistress of the Ottoman diplomat Khalil Sherif Pasha (Khalil Bey), who ordered Courbet this picture.

Exploring in Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF, National Library of France) the letter of Alexander Dumas-son addressed to Georges Sand, dated June 1871, Shopp paid attention to the proposal, which was previously deciphered as “You can not write with your most elegant and accurate brush interview (interview ) Mademoiselle Keno from the Opera. ” However, after studying the original text, Shopp found that instead of “interviewing” it actually says “what is inside” (intérieur). More details about the arguments of the scientist can be read in a book that is published in the Paris publishing house Phébus on October 4.

 Constance Kenyo in the photo of André-Adolf-Eugene Disderi. Photo: BNF / Department of Photography and Printing Products

Head of Photography and Printing at BNF Sylvie Obenas told Agence France Presse that the interpretation of the correspondence “convinced me with a 99% chance that the picture of Courbet shows Constance Kenyo.” Another weighty argument, according to her, is the fact that the will of the ballerina mentions a picture of Courbet, which depicts camellias with a scarlet flower open in the center. According to Obenas, this work Keno received as a gift from Khalil Serif Pasha. Later, she became a respected philanthropist, and therefore, according to Obenas, her connection with the scandalous picture was eventually lost.

The international sculptural symposium named after Archipenko started in Kyiv


Amancio Gonzalez / Photo: Adamovskiy Foundation

Six well-known masters from different countries gathered together to open the sky, in front of the audience, to create masterpieces from a stone: Vladislav Volosenco, Amancio Gonzalez, Peter Gronsky, Joe Clay, Volodymyr Kochmar, and Vasyl Tatarsky. Exactly a month they will work on the territory of the art residence of the 13th VDNG Pavilion, creating sculptures. All participants are connoisseurs of the work of Alexander Archipenko, an outstanding Ukrainian sculptor, founder of Cubism in world sculpture. It was in his honor that the symposium was named, the purpose of which is the development and popularization of plastic arts and the return of prominent Ukrainian names in the field of public consciousness.

“I have a dream – to create a park of sculptures, which would be admired more than one generation. The idea arose when I began to collect, in addition to the collection of paintings, which already exists, and a collection of sculptures. Therefore, the plan to hold the symposium is best suited to the planned plans. It is very interesting what will happen as a result “, – Andriy Adamovsky, founder of AdamovskiyFoundation.

 Andrew Adamovsky, founder of the Adamovskiy Foundation
This is the first pleinair in Kiev during the independence of Ukraine, which takes place in the same location as it was 30 years ago – the Expocenter of Ukraine VDNH. It is thanks to the All-Union Symposium that took place in 1998 in Kiev, the first park of modern sculpture, the preserved elements of which can be seen today on the Vladimir Hill.

“Conducting symposiums is an important component of the development of the cultural layer of society. This is especially the space for communication, the interaction of art with the viewer. Therefore, it is very important that the pleinair passes on the territory of the VDNG, rather than in a private, remote location. The dialogue will take place regardless of the reader’s willingness to understand art, because he will fall for the “scenes” of the creative process, where the forms have not yet become complete, have not become obstructed by interpretations and values, where everything is still in search, “- Darina Mo Mo, curator of the project.

One of the participants, Volodymyr Kochmar, a sculptor from Kharkiv, told about other advantages of the “symposium format”: “In a studio, it is usually not possible to do a great job. Creation of a sculpture is a very complicated process, very labor-intensive: it is necessary to bring a stone from a career, to hire cranes, other technical support … it’s not a brush to swing [laughs] in any way, without diminishing the significance of artists. Therefore, the symposium is a great opportunity for sculptors to create new large-scale works that they would not be able to do at their own expense in the workshop. ”

“For me, the symposium is an interesting format, because it is a deadline – a month of time, during which there is only me and a stone. This is important because in sculpture, in which different materials are combined, usually most of the time is spent on the technological part, and here I am one on one with a stone and for me, it is a certain buzz and relaxation, “- Peter Gronsky, a sculptor.

Joe Clay, a sculptor from Germany, spoke about his plans: “I want to convey strong and powerful forms. It is necessary to “free” them from the stone and show that they breathe and that they also have a life. I call it “energy in the form”. When I work in my studio, I’m usually alone. So work among the people – even better. ”

Interestingly, the fate of one of the participants in the symposium – Vladislav Volosenko – is somewhat like the fate of Archipenko, in whose honor the symposium is named. In the early 90’s he was still a student and he traveled to Canada in search of creative freedom, and it was there that he received recognition as a sculptor. “As far as I remember, Archipenko very much wanted to return to Ukraine, to make a big exhibition in recent years. But I was lucky more because we live in other times and, after traveling, I was able to return. I also work in the technique of “direct curving”: without a sketch, I simply take a stone and travel it as a person travels to the world “- Vladislav Volosenko, a sculptor.

Memoirs of student years and archipelago of the sculptor Vasyl Tatarsky: “During my training, Archipenko was considered a bourgeois artist and was banned from public access. For the first time, I became acquainted with the work of Archipenko thanks to the little book by Vitaly Korotych. It was a real discovery. The usual academic statements were tired, I wanted to innovate, and here it turns out our countryman has long worked in this direction. In those days, Archipenko became a source of inspiration and influenced a large cohort of artists. ”

That’s how the first sculptural pleinair of the sky, free from ideological plots of the Soviet era, revived, reassembled original artists inspired by the spirit of freedom, was made 30 years ago. A symbol of the symposium was the blue dancer Archipenko, who claims only one of his existence: the revolution in the art can happen at any time.

Dutch art dealer found an unknown picture of Rembrandt.


The Dutch art dealer, Jan Siks, who specializes in the works of the Old Masters, made a sensational statement that he was able to open the world to the previously unknown picture of Rembrandt van Rein. The work is called “Let the children and not let them come to me” before it was simply attributed to the Dutch school.

Jan Siks first saw a canvas on the Cologne auction of Lempertz in 2014. He managed to draw a picture for € 1.5 million at the start of € 15 thousand. A few years later, the examination confirmed that the painting actually wrote Rembrandt. It is believed that Rembrandt wrote a work in Leiden in the 1620s. Now the cost of the picture can grow at a time.

According to the art dealer, he was sure that he bought the work of the famous artist even before it was studied by art historians. Having examined the canvas in the online auction catalog in detail, he noticed that in the face of a young man in the background, the artist portrayed himself younger. At that time, the painter was not yet popular, so nobody, except himself, could draw such a painting. Siks also noted that Rembrandt often left his portrait on the canvas.

Source: https://ukraineartnews.com/news/news/gollandskomu-art-dileru-vdalosja-vijaviti-nevidomu-kartinu-rembrandta

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun is the favorite painter of kings.


Today the name of Elizabeth Vige-Lebrun was heard by few, although after Rubens in the history of painting there was no more prolific artist than she.

Vizhe-Lebrun wrote more than 600 portraits of kings, queens and other influential personalities of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The artist died at the age of 86 years. We can say that, in fact, Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun was self-taught, she received the first lessons of painting from her father, and, having grown up, enjoyed the advice of Joseph Vernet and Jean-Baptiste Greuze. She gained popularity as a portraitist at the age of 15 – then Vigee-Lebrun earned enough to help her family financially, which was left without funds after the sudden death of the head of the family. The artist was able to professionally present their work, as well as flatter their customers, doing slightly theatrical portraits. When it came time to choose a life partner, Elizabeth decided to give preference to a marriage with the art dealer Jean-Baptiste Pierre Lebrun. It was thanks to the connections of her husband that she managed to get into a higher social and to have a friendship with all the titled ladies of France.

Certainly, the decisive role was played by the patronage of Queen Marie Antoinette. The 23-year-old artist painted a portrait of the queen in Versailles and quickly found a common language with the monarchy. So, in 1778, Vigee-Lebrun completed work on the earliest portrait of Marie Antoinette in a court dress. A couple of years later, the artist created a second important picture in her career, which was called “Maria Antoinette with children.”

The influence of a talented artist has grown both in secular life and in a professional environment. Under pressure from the royal family in 1783, Vigee-Lebrun was admitted to the French Academy of Painting and Sculpture. It is worth noting that for the 150-year history of the institution of its 550 members only 14 were women. This news was not very entertaining academics, because now the artist had the opportunity to officially sell their works to the Palace of Versailles than the woman strongly pressed many of the competing portraitists. Most resolutely acted artist Adelaide Label-Zhiar, who spread gossip about the novel by Elizabeth with Count Calonne. Such rumors led to his resignation and the spoiled reputation of Vigee-Lebrun. Having earned enough money for a carefree life, in her early years the artist lived alone. Later, other heroes began to appear on the stage, and our heroine of the eighteenth century remembered the world of art only many years after her death.

Source: http://art-news.com.ua/elizabet-vizhe-lebren-lyubimaya-xudozhnica-korolej-14356.html
© Art News Ukraine. Under the guidance of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s will present two parade portraits of Van Dyck’s brush.


 Anthony van Dyck Portrait of Mary, the eldest daughter of the king and Princess of Orange

Two parade portraits of older children of King Charles I of England, the eleventh-day Prince of Wales (later King Charles II) and his nine-year-old sister Mary, the eldest daughter of the king (later the mother of the future King William III), will be among the most valuable auction lot items of the old masters of Sotheby’s in London December 5th. These two portraits, from a series of recent works that Anthony van Dyck wrote for their royal patron saint, were kept in one private collection for almost a century and entered the market with a total valuation of $ 3.8 million.

Conceived and executed in the summer of 1641, a few months before the death of the artist in December of that year, these may be portraits of the prince and the princess documented among the things found in the artist’s workshop in the Blackford District (London) after his death. Embodying the extraordinary skill that van Dyke brought to children’s’ portraiture, the genre in which he succeeded in his early years in Genoa, both works shows the perceptible resemblance of royal children at a time when their world and the Stuart monarchy were on the brink of collapse.

 Anthony van Dyck Portrait of Charles II, Prince of Wales Image: Sotheby’s

Alex Bell of the Sotheby’s old masters department said: “Van Dyke was responsible for the creation of durable portraits of Charles I and his courtiers, and in these exceptionally well-preserved portraits of his two older children, we see how the artist uses his artistic wizardry to portray both youth and the status of his royal models. The stormy history of the courtyard of Stuarts has always captured the imagination of people, and taking into account the additional interest caused by exhibitions in London this year, the appearance of the sale of these royal portraits, which is extremely rare is on the market, are very timely. ”

In 1632, van Dyke became the court painter of the English King. In this position, he created numerous portraits of Charles I, his wife Henrietta Maria and their children, many of whom still remain in the British Royal Collection. Van Dyck’s style, which endowed their models with a relaxed elegance and restrained power, dominated the English portrait painting by the end of the 18th century.