REVIEW / JUNE 2010 / ISSUE #4
Cover Story: Costa Dvorezky
D'este of Montreal is space that knows how to be space in the
name of art. The air of elegance to its design and breathy simplistic
atmosphere leaves all things concentrated, complex and or complicated
to the art. It is, in short, the ideal space to showcase the works
of featured artist, Costa Dvorezky whose work is comprised of
large canvasses made radiant with free flying young bodies suspended
in wild abandon.
A dashing man dressed sharply casual for his first show in Montreal,
Dvorezky speaks with a hint of shyness that contrasts the all-out
celebratory nature of his paintings.
"Painting is very addictive for me. The physical contact with
paint! The smell of it!" he says, "I feel out of sorts when I'm
not painting. A week away from it is fine but beyond that I begin
to feel a sense of urgency inside that I'm losing time and so
I need to rush back to the paints and the canvass."
Many of Dvorezky's young subjects are engaged in the sweet liberating
sensation of flight that occurs when you go lifting off with all
your might from high plateaus. In these works, it seems, it is
all about that wonderful rush between leaving and arriving.
In these works we are witness to those very alive seconds when
it is all simply you in the air, free falling to the summer waters
below. These paintings cause gravity to find something else to
do with itself. They are grand invitations to feel lighter by
both the executed technique of Dvorezky's shapes to the masterful
application of colours: there is a lightness of being to these
works that parallels the sensation of hearing or feeling music;
a symphony sounding out from the canvass in great life-gushing
crescendos and you want to go flying yourself into the vibrant
"It was a lively boisterous celebration of life that shortly after
had me painting that very moment, that scene. It happened really
fast on the canvas and I could feel a kind of new positive energy!"
he says "Very optimistic. The orange pieces were born of that
moment and off I went into painting jumping bodies for two or
The subject matter, style and colour application was not always
like this as Dvorezky revealed in the tale of directions his work
has taken over the years. Before any of these young bodies came
leaping into the public eye, work of a very different nature was
pouring forth from Dvorezky's brushes. From early boyhood years
to present day, he has busied his discipline with a diverse array
of visual wonders.
"It was pencil drawings for me in the beginning. My grandfather
was an artist and indeed my first inspiration. He loved horses
and drew them always. He worked with race horses at a jockey school
for children. I asked and he began to teach me how. So I started
there as it was an environment I knew and was impassioned by."
Born and raised in Moscow, Dvorezky studied at a Russian art institution,
during which time he engaged in applying his skills toward a means
of obtaining a modest income.
"During my academy years it was very tough times in Russia. It
was the 90's and I had a job working as an illustrator for children's
books while I was studying. The pay was fair enough but it was
very hard and time consuming work."
Through this terrain of exploration, from childhood on, Dvorezky
never strayed from his passion toward the ritual of applying shape
and colour to canvas. It began to seem quite obvious to his peers
that he would do well to begin painting for himself.
"Friends wondered why I was applying my energies in that direction."
he says of his illustration years "I had taken a monumental course
there for large mural creations and stained glass works. I was
advised to seriously consider painting something of my own chosen
subject matter and selling it. I gave that a shot and it worked.
Eventually galleries were putting my work up for commissions."
The educational and government system in Russia back then was
extremely supportive and nurturing toward their budding artists,
in way of setting them up with both living quarters and networking
on behalf of their developing creativity.
"The government supplied you with commissions. They took care
of you, supplying you with paints and studios to work in. Everything
was paid including the travel."
However, this very ideal foundation eventually began to fracture
when Russia underwent major political and economical upheaval.
The once idyllic system was no longer intact and therefore ceased
being a reliable source of support. As a result, artists were
suddenly facing vulnerable circumstances.
"Then, it all stopped when the whole system became affected and
I ventured off and sold works in France, Germany, and Switzerland.
They had private shows back then and to survive you had to sell
outside of Russia."
The Commissioned paintings were taking Dvorezky beyond Russia
and well into the European art scene. Galleries situated in Germany
and Switzerland were playing host to the ever expanding breadth
of Dvorezky's Oeuvre.
After a number of years woring the art scene to the best of his
capacity, it became clear to Dvorezky that a greater move was
essential to the ongoing development and survival of his passion.
Here was a young man motivated by his will to paint, whose style
was heavily doused in European influence, heading to Canada.
"So it seemed to me a move was essential and I headed over to
Canada, settling into the city of Toronto. I was 28, 30 or so
when I first arrived. In the beginning I tried to sell my old
Euro style works but they would not move as they were simply too
European, dark eastern European... Russian influence."
Venturing back to present day we have an artist well into his
own with regards to works that are now trademark Dvorezky paintings,
a painter whose one constant is perhaps that after a few years
or more in a certain territory, dramatic shifts can be expected.
The characters and environments of this earlier period are seeped
in darker tones, the figures themselves, far removed from the
realm of bright wide open spaces. A less innocent world is represented
- but perhaps no less playful - as we find the men and woman now
sitting or kneeling in confined quarters, restrained at the wrists
by ropes and the like. There we discover a world of dimly lit
rooms where men and woman quietly engage in what might well be
adult games. The powerful sexual tone of these works is presented
again through the body language of the subjects and the colours
Dvorezky masterfully employs to communicate the emotions.
"After a certain point you have to refresh the exchange. To step
back and take a shower so to speak." he says "After a number of
years engaged with the figures in captivity, I happened to see
the jumping boy."
From there, his next shift was perhaps inevitable, resulting in
the show featured at Montreal's Gallery D'este.
For a painter in his early forties, Costa has explored with great
depth, a diversity of directions. His early works tell of old
world European influence that perhaps will always serve as the
underlying hidden foundation to his ever evolving youthful passion
for change and adventures with the canvas.