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Georgy Kurasov / Георгий Курасов, 1958 | Cubist painter

Georgy Kurasov was born in the USSR, in what was then Leningrad. He still lives and works in the same place, but now the country is Russia and the city is called St Petersburg. Without any effort on his part whatsoever, Georgy seems to have emigrated from one surreal country to another.
His native city was irrational from the very moment of its foundation. Situated on the same latitude as the southern shores of Alaska, on the swampy delta of the River Neva where no one had ever settled before, this new capital city grew up on the very edge of a monstrous empire.

Here on the totally flat surface carved across by rivers, streams and canals, European architects laid out, like images on a canvas, straight avenues, streets and squares, they built Greco-Roman porticoes and Baroque palazzi, erected sculptures and fountains, amidst something akin to permafrost where half the year is dominated by ice and frost and the other half by damp and rain.
It is hard to find a more artificial - more artistic - city.
Georgy spent his childhood on the Petrograd Side, to the north of the city, in a tiny little flat with windows that looked out onto an even tinier courtyard.
As far as he recalls, he modelled things in plasticine and drew resting on the vast wooden windowsills. Not so much aesthetic pastimes as compensations for the grey minimalism of everyday life, the absence of light and bright colours.

At thirteen years old his mother put him in the art school attached to the Academy of Arts.

At the interview it was politely explained that there was nothing for Georgy in the painting department since he had a total lack of feeling for colour. So they suggested Georgy Kurasov join the sculpture class.
In some way he was pleased, since all the painted images they showed him seemed terribly boring, and Georgy had great interest in form.
That was when he began his professional training.
In 1977 Georgy Kurasov entered the sculpture department of the Academy of Arts.
He spent six years in the vast studio of a building erected during the time of Catherine the Great, in the late 18th century.

Those gloomy, narrow, incredibly high vaulted corridors, the vast, cold, grimy studios, everything was inhabited by the ghosts of long dead masters of ages past, whose influence was far more real than the insignificant apologists of Socialist Realism and of Marxist-Leninist aesthetics.
The Academy was a solid amalgamation of temple to and prison of the arts.
Yet those years in the Academy were the best years of his life. Nearly all Georgy’s friends and colleagues date from those years.

In 1993 his works were first exhibited in the USA. Since then, Georgy Kurasov have exhibited and sold his paintings exclusively in North America.
It is many years since he dropped out of the world of sculpture in Russia, and he never formed part of the world of painting there. Kurasov knows there are plenty of people who, noting the absence of his works at Russian exhibitions, think he has emigrated.
Americans see Georgy Kurasov as a Russian artist, Russians as an American artist. Painters think he is a sculptor. Sculptors are sure he is a painter.
And when Georgy Kurasov thinks of it, he rather like this borderline existence. Perhaps it what makes it possible to be himself, to be unlike anyone else.

Georgy Kurasov / Георгий Курасов è un artista nato nel 1958, in quella che allora era l’URSS, nella città che si chiamava Leningrado, e senza mai essersi spostato oggi vive e lavora in un paese che adesso é la Russia, in una città che si chiama San Pietroburgo.
Nel 1977 fu ammesso al dipartimento di scultura dell’Accademia di Belle Arti, e si diplomò dopo sei anni, che sono stati i più importanti della sua vita, quelli della sua formazione creativa, e anche personale, stabilendo rapporti duraturi con i colleghi, che permangono ancora oggi.

Dopo il diploma e il sevizio militare, l’artista attraversò anni difficili, e per sbarcare il lunario e mantenere la famiglia iniziò a dipingere piccoli pastelli, destinati ai circuiti di souvenir per turisti.
La svolta arrivò nel 1993, quando le sue opere furono esposte negli Stati Uniti. Da allora, Georgy Kurasov ha esposto e venduto i suoi quadri esclusivamente in Nord America.