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Sunflowers, field of sunflowers

The first time I saw the picture “Sunflowers” (80 x 55 cm) by Svyatoslav Ryabkin I remembered the novel “One, none and one hundred thousand” by Pirandello because the canvas is divided into three sections. Each of us has got a single image of himself/herself but the others see us in hundred thousand different ways. So, the main character of the novel chooses to be no one giving up on his identity.

This original and suggestive picture shows the big talent of the artist both in technique and in the use of the colour. He has experienced unusual brushstrokes with a large spatula to create this "smeared" efffect. The grey colour is both in the pearly sky and in the barren ground and in several places he has rifled the canvas with the tip of his brush.

At the top there is a wonderful sunflower facing the sky. Until the last moment it tries the reflection of the sun before the evening comes. It is wrapped in the clear haze of grey clouds that are still slightly blue and yellow.

Sunflowers bloom from July to September. Their diameter can reach 30 cm and traditionally they symbolize joy and pride but for the artist they mean hope and patience. In fact, he is living in a complex historical period for his country (Ukraine) where there is instability and danger of war. However, he has got a lot of friends who have sympathetically nicknamed him "Slava". Dear Readers, do you know the beautiful song “Controvento” by Arisa? It deals with availability and patience. Listen to it!

Ryabkin is Ukrainian, he was born in Zhitomir in 1965. He told me how much Russians love the semechki, sunflower seeds. They nibble them everywhere and prefer them salty and toasted. Do you know that Russia and Ukraine are the biggest producers of sunflower oil in the world?

Italians have noticed that palm oil has been replaced by sunflower oil on the shelves of supermarkets. In fact, the first is rich in long-chain fatty acids, harmful to the heart and arteries whereas, the second is considered healthier. It is rich of vitamin E and helps us to keep under control cholesterol and triglycerides.

Sunflowers have travelled through time, music and poetry. This beautiful flower has inspired a lot of internationally acclaimed artists. The carefree “Girasole” song by Giorgia celebrates the love of a woman who feels like a sunflower around her man. In 1975 the Nobel Prize for Literature Eugenio Montale spoke about it in a poem taken from the volume “Ossi di Seppia” (1925) and long before even the Roman poet Ovid named it in the poem “Le Metamorphoses”.

In the middle of the canvas there is the whole field of sunflowers. The dark green vegetation is made up of straight and sturdy stems that can reach three meters in height. At sunset the light of the sun is leaving and the night is coming, so the heads of sunflowers face the ground.

In the world there are a hundred different species of sunflowers, both wild and cultivated. Flowers can be yellow, red, pink, orange and white! The plants together form the mass. More or less consciously everyone affects the others and their regular stems make me reflect on the approval of people in our society. Would you agree with that? Let us know your thought!

In the lower part of the canvas there is an intense image of a sunflower cut. The flower lies on the gray ground and it is deep so that roots have enough space to grow.

Dear Readers, I greet you with the soundtrack of the movie “I girasoli” (1969). After the end of the war a woman (the beautiful Sophia Loren) is in search of her beloved (the talented Marcello Mastroianni). The movie is set on the Russian front between Moscow and Ukraine.

The picture “Sunflowers” was painted in 2013. Now it is exhibited at the Salon “Lui e lei”, man-woman hairdresser and aesthetics, in Mogliano Veneto (Treviso, Italy). And in 2017 it had great appreciation from the public during an exhibition held at Santo Stefano bank court in Martellago (Venice, Italy).

By Elena Sechet

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