Lysakov Art Company, PO Box 1706, Pebble Beach, CA 93953 - e-mail: info@lysakovartcompany.com

 

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Biblical Motif

  • Victor Lysakov is not a religous man in the traditional sense of the word. But he's had religious encounters and experiences that have ultimately shaped his world view. As a young man brought up in the Soviet Union, communism was thriving. It wasn't until high school that he was able to get his hands on a Bible—even then, it was forbidden. If caught, there would be dire consequences.

    Only given a couple of days to peruse the Bible, Victor Lysakov read through it with a voracious appetite. Late at night, he'd secretly crawl underneath his covers with a flashlight and his borrowed, brittle, coveted copy of the Bible. Especially impressed with the Old Testament, the Bible provided him with "a model of what a community could be like, what was good and evil and how the society reacted to various challenges."

    Approached on several occasions to illustrate the Bible, Lysakov was instead inspired to embark on the subject through his own paintings. He paints what he considers his understanding of the suggested theme. "It's a model without morals or teachings. It is a mere contemplation of reality."

    There are three distinct works of art which encompass the Biblical Motif: Kiss of Judas, Feast, and Blind Men.

    One of Lysakov's favorite paintings is Kiss of Judas. Painted over 30 years ago, this piece still brings back memories. "Even now, I hear the Biblical silence and freshness," he says. "I sense that I am a part of the story and the breath of the abyss before what is about to transpire."

    Lysakov was provoked to paint Feast while riding on the metro. The inside of the car was a certain yellow and was dreadfully uncomfortable. As he gazed at the color, he realized that something was about to materialize. Out of these prophetic feelings the painting was born. In 1989, Feast was sold at the "Haus Videl Nolte" auction in Germany. The public was astonished to see a black sun, but for Lysakov, that was an "everyday reality." Even today when he views the painting, he "can not shake off the feeling that something is about to happen."

    After completing Blind Men, Lysakov became temporarily blind. The bright color of the painting strained his eyes so greatly, that he could not see for nearly four hours. His sight returned later, of course, but the painting left a lasting impression. The characters' white clothing and the bright yellow sand represents the experience of creation. "The characters examine us and themselves for what is good and what is evil," Lysakov says. "These are the set coordinates for the world and civilization."

  • Angel with a Red Hat

    Angel with a Red Hat

    1998, Oil on Canvas, Size: 24 x 18
  • Angel with a Spear

    Angel with a Spear

    1998, Oil on Canvas, Size: 20 x 18

    “The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, 'I'll pin David to the wall.' But David eluded him twice.”
    - 1 Samuel, Chapter 18, verses 10, 11

    Angels are known to throw the most fearsome of spears. However, I am more intrigued by the spears thrown by those who boast power positions. These authority figures especially love to hurl spears at artists. I’ve become accustomed to this ancient confrontation – each time their spears are thrown, I never fear death; instead I become stronger, faster and more nimble. Frequently, I’ll ask these supreme beings to freeze for a moment. Not out of pity, compassion or simply to catch my breath, but so I can briefly capture that moment of expectation before their cascade of spears resume upon me.

  • Apple Savior

    Apple Savior

    2002, Oil on Canvas, Size: 24 x 20

    The Transfiguration is a miraculous event, which occurred in A.D. 29 at the top of Mount Tabor in Jerusalem, Israel. Jesus led his three closest apostles, Peter, John and James to pray at the top of this mountain. Here, the brethren witnessed the transfiguration of Christ, his face and white clothing brilliantly shining like the sun. As the years passed, many churches were built around this site and a holiday was established to commemorate this event. In Russia, The Feast of Transfiguration is celebrated each year on August 19th. Fruit, especially apples, are traditionally brought to church to be blessed on that day. For reasons I can’t explain, the custom forbids eating apples the day before. One August, I was at my dacha (home in the countryside) and noticed a fallen branch with a ripe green apple and a leaf sparkling with dew. I put it next to my easel and began to paint. I am not a religious man, but a man of faith – I simply paint when God grants me the inspiration. Apple Savior portrays how both divine beings and ordinary people can witness extraordinary glimpses of heaven now and then.

  • Blind Men

    Blind Men

    1989, Oil on Canvas, Size: 59 x 51
  • Bow and Arrow Angel

    Bow and Arrow Angel

    1992, Oil on Canvas, Size: 32 x 24

    The Acropolis in Athens, Greece finished construction precisely when the new Spartan war began and the budget ran out. For the ancient Greeks, the winged goddess Nike represented the personification of victory and her statue was erected at the Acropolis entrance. Theoretically, she is to be seen hovering with outspread wings over the victor. But during a period of indignation, the Athenians chopped off her wings, only to lose the war almost 30 years later. The beauty of an angel’s wings is indescribable. Some are a brilliant white, some are subtle grey and others colorfully glisten like the wings of a parrot. React to this painting as you wish, but I have only one request: please do not to refer to this angel as “Cupid.” This angel is the Goddess of Victory.

  • Captive Angel

    Captive Angel

    1998, Oil on Canvas, Size: 32 x 28, Private Collection
  • Day of the Lamb

    Day of the Lamb

    2004, Oil on Canvas, Size: 20 x 20
  • Feast

    Feast

    1983, Oil on Canvas, Size: 80 x 82, Private Collection
  • Fisherman

    Fisherman

    1998, Oil on Canvas, Size: 28 x 20, Private Collection
  • Forging

    Forging

    1990, Oil on Canvas, Size: 59 x 51
  • Green Angel

    Green Angel

    1997, Oil on Canvas, Size: 9 x 9, Private Collection
  • Kiss of Judas

    Kiss of Judas

    1972, Oil on Canvas, Size: 19 x 30, Private Collection
  • Kiss Trinity

    Kiss Trinity

    1989, Oil on Canvas, Size: 55 x 51, Private Collection
  • Lamb of Peace

    Lamb of Peace

    2004, Oil on Canvas, Size: 24 x 20, Private Collection
  • Liturgy

    Liturgy

    1986, Oil on Canvas, Size: 35 x 39, Private Collection
  • Pilgrims

    Pilgrims

    1998, Oil on Canvas, Size: 32 x 24, Private Collection
  • Prayer

    Prayer

    1988, Oil on Canvas, Size: 39 x 51, Private Collection
  • Procession

    Procession

    1986, Oil on Cardboard, Size: 9 x 10
  • Rabbi

    Rabbi

    2004, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 39 x 20
  • Rabbi and a Dog

    Rabbi and a Dog

    2004, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 39 x 20

    The key to the Bible comes down to one simple question from Jesus: “Who do you think I am?” The answer, unfortunately, is much more complicated. The theological significance has been debated for centuries, often teetering between heresy and faith, heaven and hell. It takes just one word to tip the scale – was Jesus a Teacher? A Madman? A Creator? I decided to look beyond the human race for the answer. Perhaps this Rabbi’s dog could share the secret. The dog must know the Rabbi intimately; he gets scratched behind the ears, sits loyally by his feet and remains his trusty companion. I researched many photos to convey the natural rotation of the dog’s head. It is at that precise moment when the dog receives The Answer.

     

  • Rosary

    Rosary

    1989, Oil on Canvas, Size: 39 x 20
  • St. John

    St. John

    1990, Oil on Canvas, Size: 39 x 20, Private Collection
  • The Abyss

    The Abyss

    1989, Oil on Canvas, Size: 55 x 51

    Imagine a space that has no size, taste or smell, nor dimension to any sound. It’s beyond the realm of our comprehension; a mirage that exists yet vanishes at the same time. There is a fine line that separates our comfortable world from the abyss. You can easily cross the line, but the return path is much more complex. The abyss often masquerades itself as art.

    My artistic career came to an abrupt halt when my son was born, given that oil fumes were dangerous to the baby. This sabbatical ended up lasting seven years, during which time I immersed myself in a “normal” life. My ordinary routines were capsized when I unexpectedly reunited with an old friend. His art professor pronounced my work as “genius,” and it was that declaration that triggered my impulse to paint again. The very next day, I crossed the line into The Abyss. Gathering my painting supplies, I confronted the easel for the first time in years. Although my hands remembered everything, I encountered a sense of fear and pain. It took one tormented year to learn “how to walk” again. Paintings are born out of nothingness; they possess you and dash themselves onto the canvas. The artist’s craft is simply to listen and obey. The Abyss was originally intended to be the first of four in its series. I vow to finish the remaining three canvases – if not in this life, then in the one to come.

  • The Night Association

    The Night Association

    1986, Oil on Canvas, Size: 34 x 34
  • Two Yellow Figures

    Two Yellow Figures

    1997, Mixed Media, Size: 10 x 12, Private Collection
  • Vision

    Vision

    1990, Oil on Canvas, Size: 32 x 24, Private Collection