“Thalia” by Oleksii Gnievyshev
oil on canvas 90×130 cm 2015
Thalia or Thaleia, was the goddess who presided over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means “flourishing”, because the praises in her songs flourish through time. She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the eighth-born of the nine Muses.
She was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots and holding a comic mask in her hand. Many of her statues also hold a bugle and a trumpet (both used to support the actors’ voices in ancient comedy), or occasionally a shepherd’s staff or a wreath of ivy.
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Oleksii Gnievyshev originally hails from the heart of Ukraine, from the capital Kiev.
There he spent his childhood, visiting an art school during his schooling years, which prepared him for later studies in art.
In 2009, Oleksii was accepted at the Academy of Art in Kiev, where he studied for five years, receiving his degree in 2014. In his studies, he was mentored by teacher Volodimir Bagalika, who is regarded as a renowned artist and teacher on the Kiev scene in creative art and painting.
Oleksii Gnievyshev possesses a unique and particular painting style which blends classical realism with a modern touch. In a series of portrayals, Oleksii narrates tales from Greek mythology along with an interplay between human and animal nature. His pictures appear vivid and powerful: the animals embody a particular sentiment and the interaction between the characters tell a story. Influences from Asian culture can also be seen in Gnievyshev’s works.
The fascination with Japan does not only stem from general interest, but also from the historical and familial background of the artist: Oleksii’s family have their roots in Japan. When asked about the inspiration behind his works, Gnievyshev speaks of the fascinating energies that individuals emanate, as well as of the certain kinds of wisdom which animals possess.
The beauty of the interplay between two beings is what gives meaning and depth to his art. He also talks of abstract realism, an artistic movement given birth through renowned artists many centuries ago. In keeping with this tradition, Gnievyshev presents an abstract interpretation of real objects and forms, which are portrayed according to perception and feeling, giving life and authenticity to his oil paintings.
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