I was born in Massachusetts, United States in 1971 of an American father and a Russian mother. While growing up I spent several summers in Moscow visiting my grandmother and perfecting my cello playing. In 2001 I moved to Russia and spent the next seven years studying art. I started at one of Moscow's art academies, but found the approach to be very unsatisfactory. They were still carrying on with the tradition of Socialist Realism. A year and a half into my stay I met a remarkable teacher, Igor Ivanovich Omel'chenko. He became my mentor for the rest of my stay in Russia. The remarkable side of his teaching was his ability to foster my growth without hampering me with rigid preconceived ideas. Instead of forcing me into a mold he allowed the artist in me to come out, grow its wings, and soar. Like a shrewd gardener he simply pruned away undesirable growth.
My Approach to my Work:
Buried deep in my soul there is an image of the ideal world. I can see hints of that ideal world reflected in the world around me. I need to focus my efforts and have an undying passionate desire to find that image of the ideal world. I must go on a long journey in solitude. Along that path there will be many temptations to leave it, but I must hold fast to my conviction and find the image of that ideal world. I have to strive many hours, months and even years doing sketches, studies and compositions before I can communicate the true image that lives in my soul. I may spend my whole life striving for the perfect reflection of that image. Years of artistic experience, my inborn spiritual vision and long suffering will allow me to transform the mundane world into a symbol that can communicate spiritual thought.
Symbolism frees the soul of the artist and viewer from a concrete “thing,” permitting a psychological story to be revealed.
Within some random organization of objects out there (buildings in a city, or trees in a grove) I can feel within my soul a new spiritual organization, movement, thought, and story arises.