Slava Ilyayev

Fall is for me the most colorful season. The days are getting shorter and colder and every year I am again fascinated by the stunning colors of the leaves. Slava Ilyayev has been named the “soulful impressionist painter.” Most of his paintings feature beautiful autumn walkways with several couples walking in the center. He has such a unique style that is instantly recognizable.

Slava Ilyayev was born (1970) and studied art (in 1991) in Baku, Azerbaijan. This country’s geography and history have both eastern and western influences on its culture, art and architecture. His home country plays a very big part in his art scenes and stile. He also studied at the Avni Institute of Art & Design in Tel Aviv, after he immigrated to Israel in 1995. Slava Ilyayev had his first major exhibition in 1999 at the Art and Sculpture Union in Tel Aviv and then at the Safari Gallery in Jerusalem. After that exhibits followed throughout Israel and in the United States as well. Slava Ilyayev currently teaches art in Israel, in addition to his painting.

The place where he was born and grew influenced his use of all the great colors which he makes use of in his paintings. He says: “People, that are in their spare time, create very beautiful things.” The folk art of Azerbaijan is another influence for him. People created beautiful mosaics and paintings to make their surroundings more beautiful and the teachers in his first art school created a good balance between western and eastern art traditions. Today he creates his own version of post-impressionist works. His works of art are structured by the color which is raised above the canvas. He is using pallet-knifes instead of regular brushes to put oil paint on canvas which creates a special and heavy texture. His compositions of light and shadow are affected by the change of the seasons of the year. His works have their own shimmering play of light and color and you can see that he admires Van Gogh. Slava Ilyayevs unique technique is comprised of three main stages: First, creation of the composition by use of a paintbrush; Second, application of paint by a palette-knife; Finally, sketching with a thin paintbrush and carving the raised paint. Once the painting is completed, due to the thick layer of paint, the work requires a very long drying period which can take upwards of a year. One of his most used theme is the Central Park in New York in November where he paints the autumnal colors and the changing of the leaves. His foregrounds show often stems and ponds which mimic the strokes of the leaves below as the spectrum of colors.

He can show the viewer different scenes and also remind them of special moments. Like memories of walks with their loved ones. Slava Ilyayev is able to bring a smile into the viewers face. The fact that I was able to immediately recognize his paintings impressed me, and also the rich texture from his works of art feel like the leaves are reaching out of the painting. His works of art remind me of all the nice autumns, leaving all the stress behind and having the time for a nice walk where you can enjoy the beautiful season. The leaves are having those beautiful colors, the days are getting shorter and we can get cozy with our jackets and hats while the nature is getting calmer and ready for the winter. We can walk closer to our beloved ones and enjoy their company.





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