Paintings and Drawings by Sergey Svetlakov
Born in 1961 in the city of Kazan located on the Volga River in southwest Russia, Sergey Svetlakov is a painter and stage designer. His oeuvre includes psychological portraits from life, still lifes, and figurative paintings and drawings of nude models. Svetlakov graduated in 1981 from the Kazan Art School; founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest art institutions in Russia. He graduated with honors in 1986 from Saint Petersburg’s Theater Academy, a state institute for theater, music and cinematography, where he was an art director of drama and musical theater.
Svetlakov worked for several years as a set designer in theaters throughout the country. His most notable work during this period was costume design for composer Edison Denisov’s 1981 opera “L’Ecume des Jours” which was based on Boris Vlan’s novel of the same name. The opera’s 1986 world premiere took place at the Opéra-Comique in Paris with later performances at Perm’s Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theater in 1989 and the Staatsoper Stuttgart in late 2012.
In the early 1990s, Sergey Svetlakov ceased working on theater productions and focused on portraits, nude studies and still lifes. In his carefully detailed work, he attempts to join the traditions of academic Realism with the style of Neo-Classicism. In his still lifes, the fruit, vases and other objects retain their natural material weight against the heavy folds of arranged, patterned drapery. For his portraits and nude studies, Svetlakov works only from models and strives to convey the beauty and inner life of his sitters, usually ordinary people with various types of social backgrounds.
One of Svetlakov’s models, Denis, was an actor who had placed an advertisement in the local paper in order to make extra money. Svetlakov’s “Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model” is a painting, done primarily in a red palette, that presents an intense figure of Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, and Tater origins. This portrait won the second-place 2020 BP Portrait Award from the National Gallery in London.
Sergey Svetlakov has exhibited widely across Europe, the United States and Japan. In April of 2000, he entered his work in Moscow’s Zero Gallery as part of the exhibition for the Manege Art Fair. Other group exhibitions include the 2012 Art Asia in Miami; the Art Hamptons-USA 2013 exhibition at Gallery G-77 in Kyoto, Japan; the 2014 Affordable Art Show at Galerie MooiMan in Groningen, the Netherlands; and the Affordable Art Shows held at Galerie MooiMan in Milan, Italy and in Maastricht, the Netherlands, both in 2015.
Svetlakov also had a solo exhibition of his work at Penates, formerly the estate of portrait painter Ilya Repin and now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of his most recent works, “The Youth from Moldavia” was exhibited at the 2021 Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Annual Exhibition held at the Mall Galleries in London.
Sergey Svetlakov’s life and work was the subject of a documentary for the “Property of the Republic” series produced and aired by Russian National Television in 1991. For many years, the prestigious London auction house, MacDougall’s, has been selling Svetlakov’s work as part of its Russian art series. Sergey Svetlakov currently lives and maintains a studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sergey Svetlakov’s website, with images and contact information, can be located at: https://sergeysvetlakov.com
Second Insert Image: Sergey Svetlakov,, “Anton Karavaev”, Date Unknown, Graphite Pencil on Paper Life Drawing
Bottom Insert Image: Sergey Svetlakov, “Portrait of Dmitry”, Date Unknown, Graphite Pencil on Paper Life Drawing
2 thoughts on “Sergey Svetlakov”
Interesting post. – Might be nice if the images were not cropped so we see the complete object
As far as I know, that is the complete image. There is no cropping on my account.