Painter V. Terekhin: Blue Is the Favorite Color


An exhibition of paintings by Vladimir Terekhin was opened AT THE AiF EDITORIAL OFFICE. Terekhin has been known as the star of Russian Avant-garde art in the West. His paintings have been acquired by the world’s major galleries, and a monograph of his works is being prepared for publication in France. But, as it happens nowadays, the artist is little known in his own land, even though as of today Terekhin has created 500 paintings and 10,000 works of graphic art as well as three theoretical papers where he attempted to lay down the principles of the new forms of the visual arts. The artist comes from Samara. He started painting at the age of 25. Now he is 39.

“Volodya, what is the reaction of the Union of Artists to your success?”
“I don’t know. We exist independently from each other. I’m an informal painter working as an engineer at the Progress Rocket Space Center. For a long time I was not allowed to go anywhere. It was a miracle that my friends managed to arrange six exhibitions in Samara and one in Moscow. The Ministry of Culture only became concerned when a French firm offered to buy 30 of my works for 500 thousand francs, and their only concern was not to make a bad bargain. Yet no one was bothered by the fact that I had nowhere to take my paintings after the Moscow exhibition.”

“Volodya, how would you explain the current boom of the Avant-garde?”
“Avant-garde artists have always attempted to reveal the contradictions of their times, sharpening them to the extreme, and that’s what makes it interesting. Also, it’s a new way of looking at the world around us, a totally new form of aesthetics.”
“What is your reaction to the fact the Russian Avant-garde art is streaming out to the West?”
“So, why must a talented painter walk around in ragged shoes in his homeland yet refuse good offers from Western entrepreneurs just because of his patriotism?
We can only regret that talented painters become known first in the West, and only later in their homeland. It may be a paradox, but what can I do if, for example, I’m unable to publish my album called Long Live Russia! in Russia—there’s neither paper nor printing ink. So it’s being published in the USA.”
“Where did you get your deep knowledge of painting from? As far as I know, you have had no special education in arts.”
“I studied the academic course of the School of Arts on my own and complemented it by reading painters’ diaries and correspondence. I forced myself go beyond theory into practice; my rate is 10 drawings a day.
I believe Van Gogh to be my godfather in the arts. His theory of the suggestive impact of color on the consciousness and subconsciousness gave me a lot.”
“The color that prevails in your works is blue.
Is that a coincidence?”
“I started thinking about the popularity of the color blue when I was eighteen. Really, why, for example, don’t we get bored with blue jeans? Later, when I was reading Paul Gauguin’s diaries, I noticed his quotation of a medieval painter, ‘Always use paints of the same origin. Indigo makes the best base. It produces a yellow when processed with salpeter, and a red when vinegar is used . . .’ In fact, that painter gave us a formula for extracting all colors from indigo. And this is the answer to why people subconsciously prefer blue to all other colors. The color blue connects people to their homeland, the cosmos. At least, that’s what I think . . ."