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Coffee Story №1


         … Today is my first story for you. So I want to tell you about my Teacher, the famous Russian classical artist – Viktor Nevzorov.  We used to drink fragrant coffee in his workshop…

He’s always there. He works. And during the day, and sometimes even at night, he paints pictures. He says: “I live by it…»

         Viktor Viktorovich Nevzorov is an artist with a capital letter. Art is his vocation and the greatest meaning of his life. He was born into a family of medical professionals. During the Soviet era, children often followed in their parents’ footsteps and chose the same professions. But Victor’s life was different… As a very young boy, he diligently made sketches of everything he saw in his school album from day to day, he really liked to watch.

         Viktor graduated from the Moscow University of Arts, then returned to his homeland in a small provincial town, where he completely dissolves in his work.  Member of the Union of Artists of Russia, author of exhibitions in different cities. His paintings are in state museums and private collections not only in Russia, but also abroad.

         – What inspires you, Victor?

         – First of all, I am inspired by the nature of my native land. I have never left my homeland. I’ve lived where I was born all my life… Every new day brings new inspiration, and I find what went unnoticed yesterday. My sketchbook is always in the car. It’s like a camera for a photographer… I saw it – I captured it!

         – You live, Victor, in a beautiful little province of Russia. How do you feel about the ancient architecture that is present everywhere here?

         «Oh! This is a separate topic for conversation. It’s too grand… Unfortunately, every year the old architectural buildings are more and more  improved» – by modern man. They are trying to plaster and seal them with plastic.  But these buildings are too magnificent. They remind us of the power of the past. Therefore, I try to capture the old mansions, mansions, monumental arches and former shopping areas. After all, my city in the past is a city of merchants. I take great pleasure in turning an old brick into art.

          I often draw churches and temples, there used to be a lot of them in our city. This is a huge block in my work. Unfortunately, most of the temples were destroyed. People didn’t know what they were doing. Temples were turned into clubs and dance floors. Fortunately, that time has passed.  I draw them in the shade of the trees, in peace and quiet… However, the audience says that looking at my paintings, they hear a bell ringing somewhere in the distance…

         – Victor, you always have a lot of offers about exhibitions. Your works are classic and intelligent, so people from different countries and cities want to see them.  How do you live now? What do you «breathe» with?

         – Covid time is a special time. For artists, in particular. We all realized that the world is fragile and vulnerable, that the Globe is like a crystal ball, which must be handled carefully, carefully and, above all, decently. And for artists, now more than ever, the world seems brighter. Perhaps the modern mission of art is expressed in one famous phrase – «Beauty will save the world!»  During the two and a half months of the pandemic, I painted 40 paintings! The oil paints on my canvases were asked to be saturated, the strokes were laid out more broadly… By doing this, I wanted to show the audience that life goes on, no matter what.    

          And the question that is asked to absolutely all artists.

         – How do you feel about women? What role do you assign to them in your life and work?

         … Victor’s eyes at this moment were covered with a mysterious haze. In the silence of his studio, among the vast array of paintings, I thought I could hear his heart beating. He sat down in a chair and looked out the open window. “I like to watch the clouds go by,” the artist said thoughtfully. I realized that he was gathering his thoughts. Victor is always laconic, he doesn’t talk much about himself. He does more than he says.  There was a pause in our conversation, and I didn’t want to interrupt it. I already knew what my Teacher would say… my artist…

 «A woman is a woman” – is his well-known phrase.

         – I mostly paint portraits of women. I’ve painted a lot of portraits of women in my life, and even if I try, I can’t count them. Yes, they come to my workshop. They pose here. It’s not easy… to paint a woman when she’s posing for you. It’s not just morally difficult. Every woman wants to be the most beautiful in the world.  But I write at this time…as a writer… I write the inner beauty of a woman, the presence of which she herself does not always guess. But I see it as an artist. I see the complete image of a person, his appearance and soul as a whole…

         I didn’t ask Victor too many questions. The theme of women is present in the creative life of any artist. But I knew a little more about my Teacher…

         There is another small room in his workshop. Earlier, when I came here to learn to draw, sometimes I noticed a slightly open door…From the interior there was only an old sofa on curved legs, painted later by potal in gold color. This gave it a special flavor.  It was covered with an old threadbare tapestry bedspread with a design of birds of paradise… There were many different sketches of the artist, unfinished paintings…It is difficult for me to understand their meaning, I have never seen them in their entirety. But I knew they were wearing women…and not just women… they had wings on the back…they were angel-women… Maybe it’s even the same woman…I can’t say for sure, unfortunately…

         I was lost in my memories again, and suddenly I realized that Victor wasn’t there. He went into the next room – there’s a tiny kitchen where he makes coffee for the guests.  His workshop always reminds me of the smell of oil paints and strong coffee. It’s a great combination of creative bliss.

         We sit down at the table, and the theme of the woman continues by itself.

        «Sometimes I do something rash, like a boy», – Victor says. A week ago, a woman came to my workshop… and I gave it to her…

Yes, the world in which we live is full of wonders and surprises. This is the highlight, and perhaps the meaning of life, which few people think about. And why? You ask… let everything go as it goes.

         – Time flies fast, –  says the artist, –  this year I have an anniversary.

         – Yes, I remember… you are a Lion according to the horoscope, my great Teacher…

         – No, I’m more like a Tiger! Only I don’t have enough stripes!

         This is my Teacher. I told you about him sincerely.  This is a classic Russian artist, a person who combines high professionalism, charm, philosophy of mind and intelligence. His works are so attractive that after seeing them once, you want to return to them constantly.

         …When I take out my easel and start drawing, the Teacher’s words always sound close by. «Make a stroke, like a step, and immediately go further, do not tread on one place…» This is the postulate of life… Do not stand still, but go forward, because as the ancients said, « you can not enter the same river twice…»  

                                                                               Interview with Zhanna Zhukova,

                                                                                                    Russia, Moscow