If one had to describe the work of Russian artist Alexander Telin using just one adjective, I would use the word ‘realistic’. The reality is in the message and not in what one is seeing.
Having had the chance to visit Alexander in his lovely studio in Floriana, I noticed a very positive outlook he has towards life. Life is beautiful and this is the message he conveys, from the moment he sees it in reality, straight through the production of his actual works of art.
The artist spent time to explain in detail some of his paintings which was then translated to me.
With the Angels you see three ordinary people (from three different generations) in an ordinary van carrying a statue of an angel. His work lies in the detail, where if you look close enough, the picture will tell you the story. The person driving the van has the time on his hand and he is looking in the rear view mirror to see the past. The one holding the statue is our generation, while the other person is the future. This picture depicts a moment in traffic whereby everyone lives with angels.
Candlelight is a scene from a local yearly event held in Birgu – one of my personal favorite events held on the Maltese islands, whereby the old city of Birgu is lit up with candle light. The whole idea of this is unity, bring people together through the use of red candles. Here again the artist managed to convey the reality of that beautiful moment.
I jokingly remarked that the darkness of the color used to paint the cold stone and the angle used to portray this Gothic cathedral reminded me of Darth Vader. I could see this story from the detail of his painting, even though any person viewing his work can see more than the artists sees himself.
We talked about his background in the film industry as a production designer and how his paintings are like a collage, whereby he is constantly adding layers and experimenting with new features. His view is that every single feature of a painting is like an actor, which can give something different to the whole painting , as it is molded and transformed until it reaches it’s final shape. At the same as these features change, the main story remains intact.
Alexander Telin in the studio (2015)
Just as the cinema tells us a story, he too builds the picture as a story that unfolds , the story being told by the different features that make up the painting. He knows who’s who and carefully moves them around until he is satisfied. “The picture talks to you”he says.
We moved on to his landscapes of nature and how in nature you don’t see simple colours. The colours he uses to paint are very vivid and rich. The colours he uses are not the ones you find straight from the tube, he uses more of a 3D and scientific approach to color.
He proudly spoke about his latest award winning painting , in the London Biennale 2015. In this painting you see birds flying across large buildings. The detail lies in every window of these buildings. This is ‘The Moscow windows‘