I was born in the city of Sverdlovsk.

In 1983 I graduated from the Sverdlovsk Institute of Architecture.

Thereafter I worked as an assistant art director and a book illustrator. Apart from that, I also dealt with wood carving, outdoor advertising and printing arts.

I mastered oil painting on my own. Of great assistance was a study of painting techniques of the old masters. I made a large number of reproductions of the following artists: M. Vrubel, I. Levitan, I. Shishkin, A. Kuindzhi, V. Vereshchagin, I. Aivazovsky, M. da Caravaggio.

My first solo exhibition occurred in the Institute of Architecture in 1983. Presented there were the illustrations to the novel The Master and Margarita by M. Bulgakov. Later on, I participated in city, district and regional exhibitions.

In 2009 the one-man exhibition ‘Face Colorimetry. Polygonal Painting Series’ was held in the art gallery ‘Shlem’.

In 2011 there was another solo exhibition named ‘The Russians’ in the art gallery ‘PoLe’.



Under this section you mostly find pictures executed in the technique of polygonal painting. Although I would better refer to my style in terms of transmogrification (rendering the meaning of a wonderful metamorphosis), or ‘intuitive linear and constructive metabolism’.

Each portrait is a painting-image sprung from photography and thoroughly gathered personal and creative portfolio of the painted. It is an endeavour to mingle the human’s disposition with his creativity in his Visage. Pursuing such a goal I had to engage in serious reading, listening and analysis. Each portrait is a scholarly work in miniature.

The depiction method appeared by intuition, while the technique and technology of oil painting on the paper emerged empirically. The character choice is almost random. The foremost feature persisting through all the portraits is my appreciation of the prototype’s personality and creativity.

The style probably traces back to the epoch of modernism.

The Modernist style in art and architecture, emerged at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, and is characterized by conventionality, decorative and ornamental in the first place. The major representatives are the following: G. Klimt, A. Mucha, A. Beardsley, A. Benois, V. Vasnetsov, V. Polenov, M. Vrubel (the founder of the Russian Modernism) and F. Brengwyn. The two last-named along with A. Kuindzhi had the greatest impact on me.

During the whole period of work I listened to hard rock music. I owe to it my energy. Without this music there were no such colours, lines and curves. My special regard is to such bands as The Beatles, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath as well as Slade, Uriah Heap, Sparks, The Doors, Cinderella, Yes, Queen and so on.


Above this page are the paintings from the series ‘The Russians’.

The images on those paintings are mostly cumulative. I draw my inspiration from the Russian literature and painting. Vladimir Ivanovich Dahl helped me a lot by means of his explanatory dictionaries, wonderful short stories and 30 thousand sayings and bywords gathered by him. All these I had read and let through me. Those paintings are an attempt to gain insight into peculiarities of the Russian character, to penetrate the enigma of the Russian soul, to discern the destiny of the Russian people in general. It is also my urge to come to grips with myself and my roots.

Other paintings are pictures of past years.


Illustrations to Eugen Onegin can be watched to their best advantage in their original form in the hotel ‘Onegin’ (they are accompanied by the quotations from the novel). Commentaries by Yu. Lotman and V. Nabokov were very useful to me.

When I started making illustrations for the novel The Master and Margarita in 1982, people who had read that novel were in minority, the illustrators were even fewer. The Novels ‘The Heart of a Dog’ and ‘The Fatal Eggs’ I had read in publications of the samizdat (unofficial press). Since then there have been a number of attempts to interpret the novel in various genres, but nobody (including me), to my mind, has yet succeeded.

This is all for now.


Alexander Vygalov

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