Florian Yuriev – Colorful Portraits-Modus

Florian Yuriev was born in Kirensk, a town in the Irkutsk region of Russia. His mother came from the Indigenous people of Evensk; his father was in exile from modern-day Ukraine to Siberia.

Yuriev started studying art at the Irkutsk Art College, where he focused both on music and painting. Afterward, he attended the Kyiv State Art Institute: first at the Faculty of Architecture, then he transferred to the Department of Graphic Arts. The main focus of his art was the synthesis of painting, music, and writing. This brings to mind the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, which in German means a “total work of art,” and was popularized by Richard Wagner in the 19th century. Let’s see what it meant for Yuriev.

Color Requiem is a geometrical composition focused on shape and color. The painting is inspired by musical notes, but instead of traditional shapes, Yuriev used oval forms. In this way, he created his very own musical scale based on bright shades contrasting with the black background. A requiem is a musical composition connected with the remembrance of someone who passed away, so it’s a very interesting choice to use very bold colors for an artwork connected to this subject.

This Portrait-Modus is of Kazimir Malevich, a Ukrainian-born avant-garde artist. He is well-known for the creation of Suprematism: an art movement focused on geometrical painting in a limited color palette, mainly red, white, and black.

This portrait is constructed from well-known artworks by Malevich himself: the background is inspired by his Self-Portrait. However, instead of the face of the artist, we see the Black Square. Yuriev probably used it because this painting was the most recognizable piece of art of the Suprematist artist. Additionally, the portraitist added a necklace made out of squares, emphasizing the importance of geometrical shapes in his art.

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