The man from the gallant century

 

"The genius is the talent to see invisible, to move intangible and to paint something that has no shape".

 

...I couldn't resolve to meet the artist for a long time - because the opinions about him were so polar and contradictory: from admiration to absolute enmity.
I was met by the man whose age was very difficult to determine. I saw his straight deportment, his stately step, his aristocratic hands, his grey beard and his hair on his shoulders. But his eyes amazed me in particular. They were emanating the light.
Later when I had seen his pictures, I understood that all he did had been blessed by that radiant look from the very beginning. Because of that such magical water-colours are painted and we can't help admiring them. When you're looking at them, you feel that you are immersing into a tender, transparent unreality.
The story of Valentin Pavlovich about himself did not resemble a biographical information:
- I was four years old when my elder brother was given coloured pencils. I took those pencils and told him that I wouldn't retum them to him. There was my mother's sister, my dear person there; she was a prayer-woman and told the others:" Don't touch him. He will be an artist."
When I was seven, I saw her praying. She was on her knees in front of the icon of Saviour Inartificial and the blue air was going up from her. This air was filling the whole room and was very beautiful. I remember she told me:" Your life won't be easy. And when it will be very difficult for you - read my prayer." I'm brought up on her prayers. It always helped me.
At the age of twelve I read Pushkin's poems. Shocked with them, I went away to the field alone, lay down on the ground and cried. I was shedding tears and begging:" Oh, God, if he isn't alive, there is no sense for me to live. Take my life, but return him." I really believed that it was possible. Pushkin penetrated into me deeply.
The genius in the ancient Roman mythology is the ghost - patron who is accompanying the person all his life long and who is directing his actions and thoughts.
If we translate painting into the prayer, we'll see that the prayer is oral, hearty and spiritual. Van Gogh has a hearty prayer and I have a spiritual one, so my player is higher than his.
We were always proud of our spirituality. We were proud that the cultural values and their highest manifestation - a talented person - are the main wealth of our nation and it is different in the unconcerned and mercantile West.
Now I'll ask you: what is better - the indifference which we are despising or the habitual capability to repulse everything which is fitting the frames?
The professionals think that Penza Artistic School is a realistic school, founded upon the demure painting and the strong drawing. Our artistic establishment doesn't number Massow to this school. He was admitted to the Federation of Artists in Moscow not in Penza.
- Last years I thought a lot about Russia. Talented people have never been respected here. They have been crushed. I love my homeland very much and even when I had on opportunity to leave it, I didn't think about it. Now I believe that my paintings are not for Russia.
It is a pity that we have no opportunity to estimate the work of the artist at its true worth, because no official collection in Penza contains his paintings.
Most estimated paintings are in private collections outside Penza and abroad.
Is there no prophet in his own native country?

 

N. Komarezkaya