Yemen on Russian Canvas [Archives:1997/50/Culture]

December 15 1997

“The East and West, are always different. This is good but they don’t believe each other, don’t understand each other. I would like to mix them, at least on canvas to create a beautiful carpet and wonderful garden, understandable for both.” Kravtchenko
An exhibition of oil paintings and pastels by the Russian artist, Kravtchenko, was held from 12th to 14th of December at the Czech Embassy in Sanaa. During the exhibition, there was an official presentation of the book by the Czech charge d’ affairs, Jiri Cingros, “To Be A Doctor To Yourself.” The exhibition included 23 pintings depicting various Yemeni scenes. Kravtchenko, 60, started painting when he was 37 years old. Eastern culture is deeply rooted in him because his ancestors lived in Asia right from the end of the last century. He was born in Ashchabad and graduated form the Tashkent Institute of Arts. He is greatly influenced by the Russian artists Alexander Volcov and Vilakiady Stal. Hayyaf Al-Saqqaf of Yemen Times met Kravtchenko at his exhibition.
Q: What has attracted you to Yemen? A: This is my second visit to Yemen. In my mind, I had a picture of Yemen which made it like birds and, sometimes I imagined as if Yemen is a country of jinn. I went around most of Yemen’s cities such as Aden, Manakha, Hodeida. I really admired the scenery there which are reflected in most of my paintings.
Q: What school do you follow in your paintings? A: My present paintings embody realism because surrealism and impressionism and other schools were in my previous exhibitions. My aim is to express all that is in nature without going through these artistic schools.
Q: Are you influenced by some artists? A: I consider Rembrandt as my first teacher. He is a real artist and he is an example to most of other artists.