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One can place the art of Victor N. Lysakov at the crossroads of many dimensions. It is situated on the crossroads of real and ideal, of abstract and tangible clearness, of emotional experience proper and cold rationalism, of poetic refinement and barbaric brutality. It is a tight modern art that is discovered slowly but at the same time was predestined for an immediate reaction, that twists and turns from a desperate thirst for emotions to independence, separated from the familiar images and intonations of motifs. “It was never my vision to create a model of this ‘world’ – says the artist. However, it is only natural for him to be somehow connected with the tumultuous 20th century, the century of great energy, the time span when the human race was first mesmerized by high aspirations and lately hit over the head with a two by four of intense alienation and separation. Thus, this time birthed, as the reaction to the thrust forward towards progress, the search for ethical guidance and navigation.

Figurative art of Lysakov, purposely separated from the establishment of obvious, separated from the comprehension of likeness in imagery and from abstract in concept and style, nevertheless it does provide answers for the deepest longings and reflects the unresolved conflicts of our time. The artist, at no point, deifies the man but at the same time he does not defy him either. On his canvases human beings can charm the viewer with their sincerity and earnestness yet at times they demonstrate the brutality of a primitive predator capable of any barbaric act. The artist reveals his search for particular themes. For example one of these themes is confession, here one can see his strife towards the nature of the ideal, something the higher realm. The other theme is perhaps the intensity, the theme that was given birth in never-ending stresses of life and countless steps towards abnormal, the escape into the ego. Finally, there is a theme of danger, as the ever-present feeling that accompanies us on the journeys of life. This emotion turns humans into an object of multiple assaults in this immense world, assaults that await one in his or her search for the ever-illusive way. The composition of Victor Lysakov is often characterized by motionless stillness. Lysakov’s favorite physiological motifs are contemplation, anticipation and concentration. In various dimensions of his art Lysakov exhibits himself as the meditative artist, who bares poetic in infinite calmness, or in nervous peaking into the World, or in the silent anticipation in the theatrical spotlight. The notion of theatrical as such is very common for Lysakov’s art. It can be often seen in organization of space and light, in the emphasis that is drawn to the main characters, accents that are made on the stage, symbolism of objects or specific costumes, that often resemble carnival masks or modern parable-plays. “My world – is one of the theater” – says the artist. One must note couple things here. Theater is understood here as philosophical-romantic type symbioses, in which meditation is the solemn ruler. Besides broad images of nature, such as the landscape or depiction of animals, bursts into the conditionally scenic stage, thus by doing so these images change the scale and character of the painting. Sometimes this broader meaning appears when Lysakov comes to terms with traditional for art motifs, such as esthetics of a religion. These searches are very closely connected with complex and in recent years ever-changing relationship between exclusive and monumental in his art. Thus, these objects acquire the flexibility.

The night, lunar world of Lysakov’s art is filled with such images and intonations that give away the uniqueness of emotional collisions. One can not separate from this, the techniques of his style – passion for monochrome, growing dependency on metaphorical details and active monofigurative composition.

October 9th, 1996

Svetlov I.E.
Professor, Doctor of Modern Art Studies,
Vice President of Russian Institute of Art Studies