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Ilya Volykhine

Updated: Aug 5

Ilya Volykhine

What materials do you enjoy working with the most?

In my artistic endeavors, I employ a diverse range of mediums to bring my creations to fruition. These include oil paint, which allows for rich colors and textures; oil sticks, which provide a unique blend of paint and drawing; charcoal, which allows for delicate shading and dramatic contrast; india inks, which provide a bold, graphic quality; liquid graphite, which creates a fluid, metallic effect; and paper collage, which allows for a playful juxtaposition of textures and colors. The interplay of these mediums is integral to my creative process, allowing me to bring my vision to life in a vivid and dynamic way.

For how many years have you been an artist?

For the past 26 years, my focus has been on building a successful career as a professional artist. Since 1995, I have dedicated my time and energy to honing my craft and developing my unique style. It has been a challenging but rewarding journey, and I am proud of the progress I have made so far.

Can you tell us where your studio is located?

I am fortunate to have my studio and gallery situated in close proximity to my residence in the charming town of Devonport, Auckland, located in the stunning country of New Zealand. Both structures are independent and free-standing, providing me with ample space to create and showcase my artwork.

Ilya Volykhine

What topics interest you?

When it comes to my profession, I tend to dedicate my efforts to delving into the inner and outer spaces of residential properties and analyzing how individuals interact with them. I am especially captivated by the uneasy emotions that are conveyed in my paintings, which are achieved through a combination of raw brush strokes, unique stylization, and surreal situations that are either based on reality or imagined.

Do you prefer working in silence or with music?

Typically, I prefer to have some background music playing while I work. Depending on the task at hand, I may choose to have the music playing throughout my studio or limit it to just my headphones. However, there are occasions when I opt for a more serene environment and enjoy listening to the sweet melodies of birds chirping outside.

Where can you be located when you're not in the studio?

At the moment, I find myself comfortably settled on one of the delightful swings that are situated outside my art studio. As I gently sway back and forth, I can't help but admire my latest creations adorning the walls of my studio. While I bask in the ambiance of my surroundings, I can't help but be mesmerized by the vast expanse of the sky that stretches out above me. It's a breathtaking sight that never fails to fill me with a sense of wonder and awe.

Ilya Volykhine
Red Kelly Bag, 2019
Oil on Canvas 39 2/5 × 47 1/5 in | 100 × 120 cm

Can you tell me what's located around the corner from your residence? I feel quite blessed to have the opportunity to live on a 12-acre estate located on a stunning island just off the coast of New Zealand. In addition to the breathtaking views that surround me, I am fortunate enough to be just a quick 5-minute drive away from the pristine beaches that line the coast. It truly is an idyllic setting that I feel privileged to call home.

As an artist, what was the best advice you ever received?
Maintaining your artistic vision is crucial to creating truly authentic and meaningful art. Rather than allowing yourself to be swayed by current trends or the demands of the market, draw inspiration from your innermost self and allow your creativity to flow freely. By staying true to your unique perspective and creative style, you can produce art that is truly one-of-a-kind and deeply personal. Always remember that your voice and vision are valuable, and should never be sacrificed for the sake of commercial success.

Did you attend an art school or are you self-taught?
I have had the honor of being mentored by several remarkable individuals in the field of art, in addition to being self-taught. This combination of experiences has allowed me to develop my skills and hone my craft. As an artist, I strive to continuously learn and grow, and I am grateful for every opportunity that has contributed to my development.

If being an artist was not an option, what career path would you choose?

Aspire to become a professional tennis player.

Do you currently hold a daytime occupation?

As a dedicated artist, I spend the majority of my time in my studio, clocking in over 40 hours per week. My creative passion knows no bounds, and I often find myself working late into the night, driven by the desire to perfect my craft.

What kind of items do you gather or accumulate? I derive my creative ideas from a multitude of sources, including literary works, product catalogs, natural color palettes, periodicals, unique artifacts I stumble upon, various digital images, historical frames, my close acquaintances, and my extensive professional network.

Who is your favourite contemporary artist?

Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, and Francesco Clemente.

Ilya Volykhine
Lady in the Apple Green Dress, 2022
Oil on Canvas 70 9/10 × 63 in | 180 × 160 cm

If you could only possess a single piece of art throughout your life, what would it be?

My beautiful wife and two gorgeous sons.

What is your favorite type of brush?

Escoda Natural Chungking Bristle Sash Brushes, Olive Series

What are your tools?

Scrapers, palette knives, anything around me. Panel, canvas, linen, Hahnemuhle paper.

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