Igor Smirnov, a son of famous Russian landscape artist Vasili Smirnov, began painting when he was very young. Eventually, he developed his own unique style of "symbolic realism." It bears no resemblance to either socialistic realism or any of the numerous avant-garde 'isms' of the twentieth century. The artist considers a piece of art as a source of information presented in symbolic form that is associated by contemporary audience as a virtual space of our spiritual life. Smirnov's art is based on a deep understanding of eternal values and the subconscious effect of art forms and colors on human psyche, emotions and well being. It brings positive associations to the audience and thus enhances the global spiritual atmosphere.
Smirnov's works are recognizable by their distinctive framework and color structure that create the impression of stained glass or enamel along with a feeling of mystery. A precise linear framework that prevents the transformation of the painting's surface into chaos of colors achieves this effect. The assurance and boldness of the lines recalls the works of Picasso done between 1910 and 1920. But the resemblance to the famous cubist artist ends there. Smirnov is not interested in the analytical division of objects into their components. His method is really the opposite. It is the melding of forms rather than their destruction, harmony, not dissonance. People, beasts, birds, fish, fruits, flowers, art objects, everything is united by the beauty of Igor Smirnov's harmonious fantasy world that stands before us like the embodiment of music in line and color. ("Between the Moment and Eternity: Artwork of Igor Smirnov" by Irina Alievsky and Reena Judens, Authorhouse, USA, 2006).
Igor Smirnov began his art career at the College of Fine Art. Then he obtained M.S. in Engineering & Design at the Naval Academy, where his rich depth as an artist was enhanced by the knowledge of geometric forms and proportions. Later he spent two years restoring priceless icons and paintings at RUSSIAN MUSEUM OF ART and MUSEUM OF URBAN SCULPTURE in St. Petersburg, Russia. From early 1980's he participated in the movement of non-conformist or "underground" art in Russia. The art works of Igor Smirnov were presented at the most popular "underground" art shows in St.Petersburg, Moscow and Germany in 1982-1988.
Igor Smirnov's art works attracted the attention of John Whitehead, the US Deputy Secretary of State, when he visited Moscow in December of 1987 in preparation for the meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Following Mr. Whitehead's personal request to Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Shevardnadze, the authorities of USSR let Igor Smirnov to immigrate to United States. The artist happily settled in California enjoying the benefits and stimulation of the new environment.
Since that time Igor Smirnov gained world wide recognition with his paintings displayed in museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, Asia and Russia. His art works are included in collections of C.A.S.E. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART in New Jersey and Paris, FUNDS OF RUSSIAN CONTEMPORARY ART in Munich, ART BRILLANT CO. LTD. in Tokyo, MUSEUM OF DOSTOEVSKY in St. Petersburg, Russia, CHEVRON INC. and MARINE LIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY in California, to name a few. Igor Smirnov's exhibitions at ARTEXPO NEW YORK and ARTEXPO CALIFORNIA, expositions with ART BRILLANT in Japan and Europe, GALERIE MICHELANGELO in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, SUNJIN GALLERY in Singapore, GALERIE GEORGE INTERNATIONAL and TIMMONS GALLERY in California revealed the fascinating works of this gifted artist.
The monograph "BETWEEN THE MOMENT AND ETERNITY: ARTWORK OF IGOR SMIRNOV" written by art critics Irina Alievsky, M.S. and Reena Judens, Ph.D. was published in the beginning of 2006. This monograph is admitted by METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, HAMMER MUSEUM, GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM, SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART and CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM SAN DIEGO.
Letters of acknowledgement from the Museums
|The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Armand Hammer Museum of Art
|Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego|
San Diego Museum of Art