Alexey Alpatov was born in 1968 in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Radio Electronics and Automation, but later on decided to engage in painting. Nature and the city are the main subjects of Alpatov’s paintings, which is why the artist’s favorite genre is landscape. Despite the fact that his work is distinguished by a monochrome cold color scheme, this picturesque palette, filled with an inner glow, forms his unique style. The sea is another important subject of Alpatov’s work. The artist depicts it in various states, from a cloudless calm with moored boats to a night hurricane in the middle of the ocean.
About ten years ago, Alpatov’s illusionism was growing through layers of newspaper clippings, fragments of text, and expressive streaks of paint. He took a dissected photographic image as a basis and freed the image from a two-dimensional grip. The lifeless, ‘glossy’ images acquired depth; they returned to the stream of time where they were taken by a ruthless camera. Hence the city ruins in Alpatov’s early works, hence the collage technique and work in series. Incorporating an image into a story that has no end or beginning is the only way, according to the artist, to turn an instant print into an eye-catching image.
It is obvious that many of Alpatov’s urban scenes are painted from the point of view of a driver rather than a pedestrian. This technique looks unusual (beginning with Pimenov’s “New Moscow”), but is an inevitable consequence of using a photograph as a painting substrate. It is on this principle that the “Distant Light” series of works is based. Nighttime country roads, brightly and locally lit by the headlights of a car, appear in the form of a mysterious reality, from which you inevitably expect some kind of catch.
The “Summertime” series, in contrast, looks almost photorealistic, although it is based on the image of a carefree American idyll: a nostalgic dream of an irrevocably gone past, which is gradually blurred in memory. As a result, there are fragmentary fragments that are only partially reliable, and all the gaps in them are replaced by impeccable and ideal pictures, which make the embodied memories more like frames from non-existent but beautiful films.
Alexey Alpatov currently lives and works in Moscow.