In the Urals, in a wing at the crossroads of Malakhovskaya Street and Razgulyaiskaya Street, in three days after the first pictures of the dark side of the Moon had been taken, I was born.

It was 282 meters away from the bank of the Iset River where I fell out of a stroller and hit my head on the Eastern slope of the Middle Urals, and then became an artist.

In 1984, I opened the first tube of oil paint for myself.

After that, for 24 years, I kept on squeezing paint of tubes, subsequently distributing oil on canvas, which resulted in creation of the Polygonal Painting style, which has existed and has been winning so far.

Polygonal Painting is a system of Objects display on a plane based on:

  • intuitive division them into conditional polygons, with no obvious base on the structure, anatomy and chiaroscuro (achromatic stage)
  • assignment a certain color and its gradations to each polygon (chromatic stage).

Polygonal Painting is, basically, picturesque graphics, i.e. an attempt to draw rather than to paint in oils. Image consists of graphic lines and picturesque spots. A certain structure is created, the elements of which are seemingly random. Polygons (scraps, free-form planes) composing an image (3D) simultaneously destroy and create a form. It is "the fascinating geometry of the artistic space" that is created, as some journalist wrote.

The creation of the style took a few tens of seconds after a two year creative doing nothing when my creative potential was almost not used. A few months of work later, there appeared twoscore portraits and Face Colorimetry Exhibition took place. It was during this period when I clearly felt that Face is a world, a complex mechanism, a system. And each piece of this system is valuable.

Then the question arose: was it a style? Was it authorial?

One way or another, all art experts evaded or kept silent. It isn't the answer that was very important to me, more like professional opinion was interesting. Finally, one fine art expert expressed the following opinion: this style is individual and has no analogues in fine art, but is quite limited, applied and illustrative.

It is worth adding that the style takes its origins from the modern ( Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Secession... ); ~1890 - 1915; Mucha, Beardsley, Vrubel, Brangwyn...

Despite the fact that the style is authorial, and the authorship belongs to me, I hold that all portraits and paintings are works of mine only partially, since during their creation process, I am only a tool and a conductor of some

Creative Force. In other words, I am just a pencil in the hands of the Creator. I cannot explain the appearance of one or another grid of polygons on a sheet of paper, as well as their subsequent "coloring" in oil on canvas. Sometimes a few years later, I curiously view some fragments of my paintings, sincerely not understanding how the hell it was done.

Neither praise, nor criticism (even stupid and pointless ) bother and excite me at all, since I do not consider myself an author in the full sense.

To be honest, I take the money when somebody buys the paintings, since I need to pay for the paints.

As far as the criticism concerns, I'd like to add that within the period of existence of my paintings in the Internet, I've come across diametrically opposed assessments and came to the conclusion that any criticism, even rough abusive one, is useful.

Once I was asked to write a few words under my portrait of Yesenin ( 2016 ) for a collection album. Here is the result:

Wonderfully strong and vulnerably fragile man looked at me with light heart in pain. In his eyes were mortal daring and reckless sadness, the sky burning with stars and dazzling cold sun. Red and golden autumn of his hair melted in black and turquoise fields of greenery. I touched the portrait and felt that a piece of my heart was in each particle of paint.

This strange but sincere text was typed instantly, I swear by mahistick. I can say that this is the verbal analogue of my Polygonal Painting.

If you type "Polygonal Painting" in a search engine, the most part of results will show information on polygonal graphics, which is a part of digital ( computer ) graphics. It appeared in 3D modeling to reduce the weight of figures due to polygons. Then the creation of a polygonal image moved to Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and Adobe Photoshop.

It's interesting to create such pictures and many people are able to do that. Drawing skill is not necessary in this case. The thing is that it is only piccies that look at you from the screen and the printer. Nothing more. Bright and beautiful. But dead. Just like most of the carrion made with a puter. I know that many people, on the contrary, like it more than real painting and graphics. Well, "whatever floats your boat". Let everyone love what and how they want—I just share my opinion and experience.

So.

In the late nineties, I was already doing magic in Macintosh. At first, it was Illustrator, then Photoshop, Corel, 3D Max, ZBrash, InDesign... Now equally easily I do three things: paint in oil, work in PhotoShop and breathe.

I'll make my point at once: computer, scanner, printer, camera may and must assist an artist but(!): only at the preparatory, auxiliary stages. When the technique starts ruling, the creativity disappears, and painting dies.

My polygonal painting has nothing to do with computer.

Everything is born in the soul, in the head, and is embodied by pencil and brush.

One girl said that Vygalov obviously uses a very rare filter of PhotoShop when creating his paintings. Okay then.

One more thing. Let no one be deceived by the term "polygon". It just hit me to give such a name to my style in 2009 when the first works appeared.

Summarizing the above, I'll add that the style and material an artist is working in and with are not important. What is important is the depth to which the author is able to penetrate, embodying his plan, subtility and sincerity of feelings which he has managed to put into the work created by him. Along with professional performance and singularity of his plan.

I'll also share my personal answer here to the question: "what is a work of art?" In case of painting.

 

First: It’s "Harmony".

Painting must cause only a range of positive emotions, sense of joy, happiness, beauty, strength ( but, once it is a range — let it be light sadness as well ).

Polenov: "... art must give happiness and joy, otherwise it is worthless. There is so much misery, so much vulgarity and filth in life, and if the art splashes horrors and villainies all over you, it will be too hard to live".

Serov: "In this century, they paint only nasty works, no pleasant ones at all. I want the pleasant and I will paint only the pleasant paintings".

Van Gogh: "Painting is a wall decoration".

 

Second: It’s "Inaccessibility". In other words – high level of professionalism.

A work of art cannot be created by a human being who neither masters at least one threshold of the necessary skill, basics of perspective, anatomy, nor has the true gift of "color hearing", nor knows the painting technology and history, etc. Of course, there are exceptions. It is next to impossible to copy a true work of art adequately. For example, Danae by Rembrandt or The Penitent Magdalene by Titian, who, by the way, applied all possible kinds of glazing in the painting.

 

And third: It’s "Emotionality".

It is critical for a work of art to be sensible, vivid, warm. It must have the depth and communicate with the viewer, keep him not only with the harmony of color and virtuosity of craft, but with the energy of evoked feelings as well. The painting must touch him to the heart, make him think, dream, smile and be sad. It should have a touch of history. At the age of twenty, Fyodor Vasilyev painted his Thaw. The whole Russia is felt through it.

It is the third point that seems to be the main one.

 

Alexander Vygalov
8 950 1939 517
boart@inbox.ru