Born in Russia, our October 18, 2019 Dan’s Papers cover artist Irina Rybakova was exposed to the art world at a young age. As an adult, Rybakova visited the East End when her work was shown in Sag Harbor at the Grenning Gallery, and she used the lovely village to inspire her art.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
Everything was so beautiful and colorful. It was the beginning of Halloween. That’s why everywhere I could see yellow pumpkins. The leaves were yellow, orange, brown, red. The cafe on this picture was red. This variety of colors and shadows inspired me!
Talk about your love of Sag Harbor.
I love Sag Harbor! It’s a very nice place to paint! I enjoy working here. Besides, I had two group shows at the Grenning Gallery. I was so pleased to meet with Laura Grenning, the owner of this gallery. The people in Sag Harbor are very kind and helpful. It was the most exciting memory in my work in the USA. I was very happy to have an opportunity to work in Sag Harbor.
What does the fall season on the East End mean to you?
The most beautiful season on the East End is the fall. A lot of shadows of grey and nacre colors: the nacre sand, the grey water, the grey and blue sky…all leaves turn into different colors. It’s an amazing time to paint! I would like to have this experience again!
You have talked before of growing up in a town in Russia that was home to some great artists. How did that shape your view of art?
It shaped my view of art very much. When I was 5, I began to pose as a model for the Tkachev Brothers. You can see me in their picture “The Bread of the Republic.” I was so excited to pose and to watch the process of creating pictures. I liked the smell of paints. It seemed magical to me! Then I started to try painting myself, and the artists from this place, where I was born, taught me. They were L. Ostrova, N. Kolupaev, A. Levitin, M. Kugach. I was lucky to be born in such place. It influenced my art career so much.
How has your art style evolved throughout your life and career?
The base of my style is the Russian Realistic School. The closest subjects of my painting are the world of Russian villages, simple workers and old houses. My favorite period of the art is Socialist realism.
See more of Irina Rybakova’s work at grenninggallery.com.