“If an artist cannot be surprised, it means […] his self-imposed limits get in his way. The more you look and study, the more you want to work.” – Akhra Ajinjal
“For me, it’s important to discover something new and interesting while I create, to advance to a higher level. The main thing is not to lock oneself in one room and say, ‘I’m fine here’. I can create both figurative and abstract works, as well as collages… I started with certain motifs, then moved on to other things. For example, in the beginning I created some colorful works in the spirit of Fauvist art, very juicy and southern – this had to do with the fact that I lived in Abkhazia. When I moved here, they called me “the painter of Abkhazian houses”. Then I met Matvey Vaysberg, Alexander Zhivotkov, Mark Geyko and we talked and looked at each other’s works, and I was imbued with something else. I feel no need to hide the names of those who have influenced me. Kyiv has a serious art scene. If your external state is in harmony with your internal one, and if you accept this, then it can give birth to something of your own.” – Akhra Ajinjal
Akhra Ajindzhal is a Ukrainian painter, graphic artist, and art historian of Abkhaz origin. In 1982, he graduated from the Sukhumi Art College. From 1982 to 1987, he studied at the Department of History of Art at the Moscow State University. While studying at the university, he continued drawing and painting. In 1987, he graduated with a diploma in the history of modern art of Abkhazia. From 1987 to 1992, he was employed by The Art of Abkhazia, an art magazine. He authored more than fifty articles published in Abkhazia and Russia. Since 1993, he lives and works in Kyiv.
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This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!