The Portrait is Good if it Contains the Idea of the “Holy” Element

Interview with Tatyana Mironova

Artist – Tatyana Mironova
Country – Russia, Smolensk
Born – 1978
Education – High education  – University of Arts
Main Theme – portraits, animals and birds
Main Art Subject – paintings and bas-reliefs
Inspired by – wildlife, human, “holy element”
Favourite artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, from contemporary – Fred Wessel, Koo Schadler, Loetita Pilaut, Richard Clifton, Slava Fokk and others
Awards
2008 – was awarded a letter of appreciation from the Smolensk City Council for the creation of highly artistic paintings – winner at the exhibition of young artists
2018 — winner in the international exhibition «Russian Art Week», portrait genre, category “Professional”, Moscow
Tatyana Mironova for BeArte Gallery
Tatyana Mironova for BeArte Gallery
In modern art, there are directions that are just not interesting to me. For example, abstractionism.
In my artwork, I follow the rules – good drawing, composition, necessary contrasts.
"mulatto"_photo_1
Mulatto 35х30см, MDF,oil. Tatyana Mironova at BeArte Gallery. Winner" of Russian Art Week 2018

Beata Piechocka: What was the beginning of Tatyana as an artist?

Tatyana Mironova: Like many children, I began to draw in early childhood and painted mostly people: I understood that I have to paint to have a beautiful image in the end. I really enjoyed looking at the smallest details of painting on wooden toys for a long time. I have this attention to details in painting now. It can be said that in painting the image of a person, a bird or an animal, the process consists of these small details: from small things a large one is born. I grew up in a natural environment in a big house and loved to watch sunsets and sunrises, young leaves of trees in spring, and snow-white fields in winter. Perhaps then I felt the power of colour and contrast. In my grandmother’s house, I really liked to look at the reproduction of the painting “The Unknown” by the famous Russian artist Kramskoy, I liked the beautiful contrasts and the face of the woman painted in the picture. Subsequently, this work inspired the creation of a self-portrait “Harmony in Black”, which participated in the All-Russian, then the international exhibition of portraits in the Erarta Museum (St. Petersburg) and was sold.

BP: Looking at your paintings, it is difficult to avoid the impression that you are very inspired by the art of the Early and Late Renaissance and the Russian icon. Where does this connection come from?

TM: My main subject in the painting is portraits. And, of course, I admired the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, copied their works. It is believed that the realistic image of a person was the main goal of the artists of the Early Renaissance. But these great creators have achieved more, reflecting the inner world of man in their paintings. When I look at old Russian icons, I understand that they are spiritualized, forcing the viewer to start a dialogue with himself, to become better. Religious scenes are also in the paintings of Renaissance artists and of course in the portraits, the artist must reflect the soul of man, his inner world. I always remember this when I paint a portrait.

BP. In your biography, you pointed out contemporary artists like Fred Wessel, Koo Schadler, Loetita Pilaut, and Richard Clifton. All of them derive a handful of the achievements in art by presenting it in a new modern version. Maybe except Richard Clifton who rather inspired you about the subject. For what reason do you think old art can be so appealing?

TM: Yes, many contemporary artists are interesting to me. Basically, those who know how to synthesize the aesthetics of classicism and modern art. Very interesting are those artworks where I see the synthesis of genres. For example, a realistic classic portrait of a person on a gold (or decorative) background, possibly with elements of abstraction. Thus, realistic art appears in a more modern context.

BP. In modern times it is difficult to indicate one leading direction of art, basically, everything is allowed. How do you feel with such freedom as an artist? Does the lack of rules in art bother or help you in your artistic work?

TM: In my opinion in modern art there are directions that are just not interesting to me. For example, abstractionism. In my artwork, I follow the rules – good drawing, composition, necessary contrasts.

BP. If you had to choose the direction of the art that is closest to you, what would it be?

TM: Realism, animalism, symbolism. These are the directions of art that are closest to me when the artist influences the feelings and mind of the viewer and expresses the joy of life.

BP. What kind of technique do you use in your painting?

TM: I paint with acrylic and oil paints on canvas or wood (MDF panels). I also use gold and silver leaf in my work, this is one of my favorite materials that give originality to my artworks, and this is a very important moment for the success of the artist, something that distinguishes him from other artists.

BP. What motivates you to paint?

TM: For me, art is life. Without it, life is boring and uninteresting, I understand that painting develops my mind, taste, sense of beauty. Often, the picture begins with the idea of a combination of colour, then I think about composition, and the patience and work. And, of course, I am glad that I found my viewer who loves and understands what I am doing.

Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood by Tatyana Mironova at BeArte Gallery
Self Portrait In Red
Self Portrait in Red by Tatyana Mironova at BeArte Gallery

BP. In 2018 you became a winner of the international exhibition “Russian Art Week” in Moscow in the category of “Professional” in the portrait genre. The painting which was rewarded is “Mulatto from series of portraits the “Faces”. What do you think has determined your win?

TM: The picture “Mulatto” is a small but original work, which participated in the nomination “Synthesis of genres”.  A young black woman on the background of gold leaf – really original and creates a beautiful contrast. In addition, there is a feeling of luxury, chic.

BP. “Mulatto” reminds me of the coffin portraits from Fayum in Egypt. So, all this together: the icons, the Byzantine golden background contains the element of Greek art after Christ. What do you think about my connotation?

TM: Yes, this picture is really similar to Fayum portraits in colour, gold leaf is also often used in iconography. If in portraiture a gold background is applied, then it emphasizes the divine origin of man, reminds us that each has his own mission on earth.

BP. When I look at golden backgrounds and deep, spiritual eyes on your portraits I have the impression that you are the heir of the idea of a “holy” element in each of the paintings you’ve created. Is that what your artworks are about, about this divine element?

TM: In portraiture, the psychological component is very important, the image and the viewer interact. It takes time, effort, the skill of the artist in order to really create a living portrait. I think that the portrait is good if it contains the idea of the “holy” element.

BP. When you are painting portraits, what do you pay the most attention to?

TM: In portrait painting, as in any painting, good drawing and composition are very important, but what is always difficult is that the artist must reflect the soul of a person, his image

BP. In addition to portraits, you also create icons. Do you copy ideas or involve your own interpretation?

TM: There was a period in my creative activity when I was looking for my own way, so I experimented a lot with different styles, techniques, materials. I was always interested in icon painting, especially ancient icons. I studied the technology of icon painting with egg tempera on a plank of wood, as icon painters of the distant past did. Canonicity is the main feature of an icon, of course, it is an exact copy of the image from which a new icon is being drawn. I made several icons to order, but I came to the conclusion that I was more attracted by realistic oil or acrylic painting.

BP. You also paint icons, they are very popular In Russia. What do you think about why they are so popular?

TM: Icons are really very popular in Russia, as this is our history, culture, often it is a family value: parents pass the icons to their children. It is believed that icons protect the house from evil forces and have contact with saints and God.

Paired In Life By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Paired In Life By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
African Bird By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
African Bird By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Blue Birds By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Blue Birds By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery

BP. In addition to painting, you also create reliefs. This is quite a non-typical area of activity. Most often, it is associated with stucco and plaster that is used in palaces. Why did you choose such a niche as part of your artistic path?

TM: I studied the technology of creating a gypsum panel on wood (MDF panels) and in this way my artworks are really original wall decor. The bas-reliefs attract me by the fact that there are much fewer competitors here compared to painting.  Also, the works are very stylish and beautiful, people like it, and many have already found their buyers in Western Europe and the USA.

BP. What application would you suggest for reliefs for the ordinary interiors?

TM: I believe that the bas-reliefs are perfect for the popular and romantic style of Chebbi Chic with its light pastel colours. But for ordinary interiors, the bas-relief panels are also suitable, giving them originality. All my bas-reliefs are ready for hanging, they can be used as a panel or framed. Fine will also look a few bas-reliefs on the wall in one row.

BP. I know that you create reliefs in your own unique technique. Can you tell us a bit more about the work you go through while creating a relief?

TM: The process of creating a bas-relief begins with the preparation of the base – a wooden board, on which I apply a layer of acrylic glue impregnation. Then, after drying this base, I make a mixture of high-strength glue and plaster and place bas-relief elements in it — flowers, leaves in a beautiful composition. I prepare gypsum flowers and leaves for work separately.

BP. This sounds very complicated and time-consuming work. Which of the stages of creating a relief is the most difficult?

TM: The greatest difficulty is the creation of a successful composition of the bas-relief and its elements – flowers and leaves.

Flower Composition With Orchids. T.Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Flower Composition With Orchids. T.Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Flower Bas Relief With Orchids. T.Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Bas Relief With Orchids. T.Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Flowers By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery
Flowers By Tatyana Mironova At BeArte Gallery

BP. What do you want to express through your art?

TM: It is very important for an artist to define his mission, to choose his own way. In my work, I focus on the portrait. Through my art I want to express a simple idea -it’s good to be a man who understands his high destiny in this earthly life. I often study exotic faces, national costumes, ethnic jewellery belonging to women from different parts of the world.  In my series of paintings “Faces” images of people of different nations and races will be painted. So, viewers see that every nation has its own beauty, an interesting history, and this unites us all.

BP. Can you share with our readers your nearest artistic plans?

TM: This summer I take part in the international exhibition, in the world-famous project “Geysers of the Subconscious” in Moscow. And, of course, I will continue to work on the series of paintings “Faces”.

BP. Tanya, we wish you successes in this exhibition and on many others. We are also waiting for more of your beautiful artworks.  Thank you for time and the interview.

Tatyana Mironova with her artwork
Tatyana Mironova with her artwork
Auction online at BeArte Gallery

About the Author:

I am a co-owner of BeArte Gallery, art marketspace based in Denmark. I have an art education and I paint myself. I am also a part-time paint teacher for artists amateurs. Communing with art and contact with the artists is what moves me in life. Without art, my life would be devoid of emotions, higher meanings. I believe that thanks to Art, each of us has a chance to touch an absolute.

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