Timur D’ Vatz is an extraordinary artist. A rare talent who draws upon mythological sources, heraldic motifs and Art Nouveau patterns to create rich and timeless pieces, which resonate with a powerful narrative, ancient tales of nobility and aristocratic magnificence.
In certain pieces Timur’s elongated figures provide a strong vertical composition set against the movement of the hounds and wind blowing through the intricate fabric worn by his protagonists. At times the work is a striking tableau, a static symmetrical study. Timur’s fine work exhibits his breadth of artistic knowledge and he cites the influence of medieval tapestry, Russian icons and Celtic designs. He refers to the Renaissance and to the Pre-Raphaelite ideals.
From these numerous source materials, Timur creates beautifully flat forms, elegant and refined. He searches for the essence, a way into a fantastical world, taking the viewer to another place, a long lost realm. He plays upon the real and the unreal, the dichotomy between representation and the abstracted thought.
He is interested in alchemy, not in the sense of making gold out of base material, but on a transformative, spiritual level whereby we are transported from our modern, fast paced life to somewhere magical and mysterious. There is a sense of yearning in his work, a quest to be fulfilled, a hunt that is in progress, or a love affair to be consummated. All captured in a moment, frozen forever in time.
This sense of metamorphosis, this exalted state of being is heightened further in this series through the addition of ornate museum quality frames, these are finely crafted and gilded, some taken from Gothic revival altarpieces. These glorious frames enhance this spiritual conversion, creating a elaborate window through which we experience a higher sense of consciousness, in the same tradition of religious iconography whereby a Madonna and Child is lifted out of the norm and given a sense of divinity by way highly skilled craftsmanship and artistic virtuosity.
So, how else does Timur create this wonderful opulence and grandeur? This comes in part from the sumptuous decorative quality stemming from his interest in textiles, Chinese silk printing and costume design. Timur is also profoundly influenced by the Nabis School and in particular the intricate patterns of Édouard Vuillard. In terms of contemporary artists, Timur clearly enjoys the mystical and atmospheric work of Peter Doig and more recently the elaborate paintings by the African-American painter – Mickalene Thomas. Grayson Perry’s tapestries although very different in subject matter reflect a shared interest in the medium.
Timur D’Vatz has come a long way, both personally and artistically. He left Russia with virtually nothing but canvases and paints when he arrived in London over twenty-five years ago. He was the first Russian student to be accepted in the prestigious Royal Academy, having been awarded the Jack Goldhill and Sir James Walker scholarships. It was during this time that Timur won the Guinness Prize for ‘First time Exhibitor’ at the Royal Academy and the A.T Kerney prize.
He has also been featured in the BP Portrait Award.
Timur has been recently commissioned for a major piece by the Four Seasons in the heart of Moscow.