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Brushes and floats

Passions enrich our life

The lively oil on canvas “Brushes and floats” (35x50 cm) celebrates the artist Svyatoslav Ryabkin’s passions. The vase contains some dirty brushes (symbol of Art) and a fishing float. Two other floats rest on an imaginary table. Fishing is a relaxing hobby for him.


The Ukrainian painter's house had become a studio full of palettes and canvases. He was fascinated by the world of art watching his wife painting. So, he turned this hobby into his work. You can read his Biography to find out more information!


"Brushes and floats" frees our imagination because the subject is essential. Through time and different painting techniques, each artist has tried to express their emotions. For example, abstract paintings are born when colour blends into geometric shapes. They vibrate like music, until reach the human interior and arouse sensations on a spiritual level. Ryabkin's oil on canvas “At dentist” (2009) remember the style of the Russian painter Kandinsky (1866-1944).


Instead, in the cube-futurist paintings subjects are simplified and the image is broken down into segments as if it was the reflection of itself in a broken mirror. For example, the painting “Wind” (2010) has got this strong visual impact. The artist has placed side by side the sections of primary colours to create strong chromatic contrasts. He has obtained the effect of a psychedelic kaleidoscope as in the famous Ukrainian painter Bohomazov’s works.


"Brushes and floats" conveys a good feeling due to the spots of many colours. On the carnival background the splashes of pink, orange, yellow and blue are copiously dosed. The lines on the canvas and the dense and furrowed colour are Ryabkin’s distinctive trait.

The definite and scattered lines all over the surface seem to be the result of a childish momentum. It reminded me of the story of the boxer painter Omar Hassan (1987). He is having fun (and successful in the world) by combining his two greatest passions. Dear Readers, in time of lockdown, have you tried your hand at painting? Tell us what you have portrayed and what was your favourite technique!


Svyatoslav Ryabkin has always loved fishing as well as painting. In "Brushes and floats" the fishing floats symbolize the pleasure of being outdoors while waiting for a fish to bite the hook. Fish are often the protagonists of many of his paintings. They have got a religious significance: they symbolize Christ and the triumph of good over evil. So, they create allegorical scenes full of pathos.


In 1957 also Chagall, a Russian naturalized French painter, depicted a fish in the lithograph called “The Blue Fish”. His works portray many biblical episodes that reflect his Jewish culture while other works are inspired by European Russia popular life. In addition to very colourful works, there are the monochromatic paintings that arouse sensations related to the world of the fantastic: the original oil on canvas entitled “Winter. Muzhik sleeps”, made by Ryabkin in 2004, is an example.


Finally, impressionist natural landscapes were created combining the elements in a certain way. Manet painted a scene of fishermen in “Fishing in St. Ouen” painting (1860). And Ryabkin arouses great emotions with the snowy setting in the oil on canvas “Winter volleyball court” (2021). So, the choice of the colours and the technique allow to express concepts of all kinds.

Dedicating yourself to Art is a form of love for yourself and for the beautiful things. Cultivate your passions with enthusiasm! It is a healthy escape from the reality, especially in this historical moment when there is a deep need for light-heartedness.


"Brushes and floats" was painted in 2019 and exhibited for the first time in the welcoming Arman’s Osteria in Treviso (Italy). I remember customers’ looks during lunch: their attention was captured by paintings on the walls!


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By Elena Sechet