translated into English

back, to the List of Translations

Earth Сonsonances Moderator


A moderator is a person who possesses inborn or acquired ability to bring the world of things and world of ideas, in which an earthling sinks himself from birth, to wise proportion, to the order, that is not a bore.

Being an admirer of harmonies — in colour, form, sound and life, Alexander Mirzin harmonizes his life and living simply and without false pathos. This is how he honestly performs apparently the main mission of an Artist on the Earth — to show people harmonic forms and to remind that against all the odds the world is beautiful.

And this sensation rises at the first minutes you are in the painter’s atelier — unusually clean and cosy one, devoid of that notorious bohemian-artistic mess. Its interior is thoroughly thought up, inventively used antique pieces and architectural fragments (for instance, a piece of an old sandstone cornice have not been just cut away, but was patiently cleaned, delicately toned and converted into an elegant shelf), old chairs and arm-chairs that were found in the attic and lovingly restored by the host. One can feel subtle perfume of old wood, paints and refined solvents in the atelier, and even tea is served to a guest in a special, big-and-round, "captain’s" — as Alexander calls it — blue cup.

The artist created this positive atmosphere, this comfortable environment definitely, not for advertising, but of inner needs of his soul. Perhaps, that is why all this amazingly affects visitors, would-be buyers of Alexander Mirzin’s works. Having visited the painter’s atelier once they become admirers of his talent for a long time.

And still lives and landscapes "take off" from his easel, as birds from their native nests, "fly away" to national and foreign private collections, offices, leaving "as a remembrance of themselves" colour photographs in a thick album. For instance, this is a page dated 1994. This year was one of the most fortunate in Alexander Mirzin’s creative biography. Just then, after unprecedented success of his so-called "botanic series", created in 1992-93, which we’ll talk about later, the painter willingly leaves the "best-selling" theme and is strenuously looking for new ways. Therefore, new series of landscapes appears, one of which — a "Cool" — considered by many of those who saw it, to be one of the best of them. According to the painter, this is the canvas, that makes him proud of his work.

Here he managed to do everything he has composed to: a bluish cold early spring haze, that envelops distant grove tree-trunks; yellow reflexes of outgoing sun on the dark bare branches; picturesque combination of golden colour of exposed yesteryear leaves and white and grey of the last snow tongues; big inky silhouettes of crows that are darting on some intricate curve above drying earth. And the most important is that amazingly accurately expressed subtle sensation of the ever-young Spring that races by, and which one always wants to feel without a hurry and which always fatally slips away…

Let’s turn the album pages a year back, to 1993 and take a good look at the photoes of more than ten landscapes, being accurate — "botanic installations", which were created in Odesa Botanic Gardens. These were those, as the painter himself calls them, "still lives in interiors" which are connected with a special record that the painter Alexander Mirzin has set up in Odesa in the 90s of the last century: in 1993, in three days after a one-man show of the young painter has been opened in Odesa art gallery "ARTIS", all the 12 pictures showed were bought. And there were not sketches or studies, fixing material for future works, but full-size carefully worked high-priced canvases. The most significant among them are — "A Love Grotto" (now belongs to "Sudokhodstvo" magazine); "Orange Flame" and "A Secret World" (are in a private collection in Italy).

These somewhat exotic names of the compositions are rather easy to decipher. "A Love Grotto" — this is how a secret place in Odesa Botanic Gardens is actually called, where a pavilion of picturesque stone quadroes was constructed long ago. The top of its walls is decorated with a thick carpet of exuberant yucca and especially expressive in the picture romantic juniper. "Orange Flame" was born when the master was lucky to see and admire blossoming of bright, actually sun-coloured Kafir lily with a red leaf ficus in the background. As for the period when "A Secret World" was being created, it gave him, as Alexander confessed, the happiest hours in "1992-93 winter painting season". When the painter has shown people from the Botanic Gardens the first results of his everyday "visits" to the Gardens, some alertness to him as a "stranger" immediately vanished and they let the painter to their sanctum sanctorum — a big green-house. They half opened the door and took him from winter time into tropical humidity and heat. They asked him once again to be careful to the utmost, reminded that this is a valuable scientific collection and left him alone.

Echoing silence around, more emphasized by rare "plocks" of falling drops of condensate; mass of dispersed skylight; shy, as if confused, twittering of sparrows who have worked their way into the green-house through the cracks in glass plates of its roof.

A tight canvas soon went slack at the stretcher here and almost the same happened to his determination to work in energetic mode, to record new impressions in paints making no delay. For about two days the canvas was stabilizing, "getting used" to a new atmosphere and all this time the painter felt need to live in the same rhythm. He sat and listened, to be accurate, drank in, but however did not fix his attention on anything special, cast quick sliding looks at green masses of huddled tropical plants. Presumably it was that time when a decision arose not just to paint still lives with a lanscape background, but a desire somehow to catch, to reflect that experience of indulting (using Carlos Castaneda term) out-of-body condition, strange tranquillity of this exuberant and green "Secret World", separated from killing winter by a sheet of glass.

It is interesting that those several days of contemplation, of "day-dreams" and as if "dolche far niente" produced a striking result: the painter marked that it was that period when his imagination found ability with encouraging ease to imagine and to transform any bends and relationships of trunks, branches, leaves of all these fan and date-palms, ficuses, Kafir lilies, lianas, bamboos, cactuses, etc. And his hand became more obedient to his conscious creative impulses.

Why did the painter soon abandoned the theme, that promised to be art-critics’ and purchasers’ permanent favourite?

Alexander thinks that the then painting experiments in the Botanic Gardens helped him to achieve certain professional level and to fix it. But they already didn’t help to move forward. That is why to produce new ideas-impulses he wishes to alternate genres permanently. In order to be interesting to himself. By the way, five years later, he came back to the Botanic Gardens once again. He painted some well-done interior still lives, but the main thing — refreshed his so-called "collections of author's trees", his skill to imagine instantly, to see in his imagination a retained reflex on a glossy sheet, a strange tree trunk, a special huddle of branches.

Those were the knowledges and skills that helped the master much in creating in 1998 "Orange Sunset in an Old Garden" landscape, that stands aside in A.Mirzin’s creative work.

Here he used colour combinations unusual for himself. This method was not an end in itself, not an answer to a colouristic problem, but a way to obtain impression of a special colour strain of the rays of the sun before sunset, that flood with light the middle distance of the composition and mighty trees in the background. At the same time this light creates strange disharmonizing contrast with objects in the foreground which are already covered with cold bluish shadows of creeping night. And as the centre of creation, this very creation of Alexander’s brush — shown in silhouette of a hunched up little figure of a teen-ager, sitting awkwardly on woodblocks…

I recollect that this landscape produced strong and somewhat strange impression. Really it absolutely falls out of the regular Mirzin’s stylistics. Many admirers of his talant (those who buy his pictures as well!) viewed "Orange Sunset in an Old Garden" long time and… put it aside. A fresh, independent, as Alexander joked once, "overseas" eye should come, of an American collector, jeweller and bussinessman Gary Hofmeister, who at the second minute of his visit to the atelier picked this landscape out of the range of others, paid for it on the spot and never let the canvas out of his hands to the end of his visit. Now "Orange Sunset in an Old Garden" and some other works of the Ukrainian painter adorn the office of G. Hofmeister’s "Jewellery House" in Indianapolis, Ind.

Creative summer period of 1997-1998 and partially 1999 the painter spent in the lap of waves and sound of steppe wind on beaches and hillsides in Sanzheyka, near Odesa. Views of a small Sanzheyka lighthouse; slopes sliding downwards as if eager to reach sea-water; silhouettes of ships at rest where sky and the sea meet; steppe grass and single-trees twisted by rush of autumn gales ("In the Roads", "Hillsides" "A Sunken Barge") came to his atelier.

What has changed in the painter’s creative manner?

Perhaps, the most essential change is his increasing need to "verify the art by realities of life", lack of fear of modest, quiet motifs. For instant, in one of his latest landscapes — "Hillsides" — depicts a beach of Sanzheyka, an old piscatory settlement near Odesa that has already become his native place. The most important problems that are being handled here are apparently the task of trampling on the artist's pride and his intention to obtain the feeling: in this landscape Nature — instead of the master. Everything is restrained, simple and natural here. The painter as already a mature master is not tempted by effects to demonstrate professional skill, but tackles much more complicated problem of moving over his creative ego and recognition of universal laws of harmony. To do this he should "just" mould with his brush the stiff bark of silver oleaster, and to catch red bursts of poppies in steppe grass, and to notice on the sea the silver host of half-melted shells of flickering splashes of light and convey sensation of the young sun, dipping its hot rays in the sea and to display the sea under the skies, and the skies in sea water…

There is a well-known art critic’s saying: "A painter — is a creator who can translate the essence of our life into the plastic forms language...". Truly, Odesa painter Alexander Mirzin can "translate", can see, and can make one admire and muse on every moment of existence of this beautiful and angry world.

Alexander’s plein-air pieces are full of the sun, cool wind, his philosophical still lives convince by their "non-accidental" composition and revised conceptuality.

Each of his landscapes, marinas, or still lives contains harmony — that happy medium that is hard to catch, but which makes viewer to mark his pieces off, to experience feeling pleasure meeting works of the person who thinks big and shares with us his skill to be tireless moderator of this life harmony.
Volodymyr Ostrovsky,