Mihail Aleksandrov (painter)
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Mihail Aleksandrov (born on June 2, 1949) is a Lithuanian-born painter. His work is collected in more than 20 countries. His painting style is deeply rooted in the Russian spiritual and artistic tradition.
Aleksandrov was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. His parents, Boris and Anna Aleksandrov, left Moscow for Vilnius after World War II along with his elder brother Vladimir. As a boy, he was intrigued by the Baroque and Gothic architecture of Vilnius. At the age of 12, he attended the Vilnius Art School and did so for five years. At 17 he went to the Vilnius Art Academy. After that, he studied Russian history and literature at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute, earning a degree in 1971. Aleksandrov was in the service of the Soviet Army for a year and then moved to Tallinn, Estonia where he participated in several exhibitions of unofficial art. Alexsandrov taught arts and paintings for five years.
Emigration to USA
During the late seventies and early eighties, Aleksandrov was at the forefront of a group of artists that were permitted to exit the USSR and emigrate to the West. In 1979, he applied for an emigration visa and in 1980 moved to Los Angeles under a grant from the Tolstoy Foundation. He exhibited his work on the West Coast for a year and then relocated to New York in 1981. Aleksandrov has been married twice: his first wife Svetlana Startseva (1970–1979) now lives in Moscow. His second wife Elena, whom he met in New York City and married in 1986, is his muse and inspiration. He became an American citizen in 1987.
Influences and style
Aleksandrov read John Rewald's History of Post-Impressionism and that inspired him to be an artist. His works are mainly in oil, watercolor and tempura. His paintings mostly represent human souls, spiritual being, philosophy of life, and archetypes. He is close to the dramatic tension of mannerism. Beauty, perfection, spirituality and revelations are the source of his artistic conception. Throughout his career, Alexsandrov has been influenced and inspired by other artists, such as Boticelli, Brueghel and Van Gogh. Russian poetry has had a greater influence on him. Spirituality and symbolism are two important things in his art. He has also written an art book The Art of Mihail Aleksandrov.
The Basics of Buying Art, Cindi R. Maciolek, pages 87-88. ISBN 0-9647911-0-2