Igor Navrotsky is a modern professional artist. He paints in the genre of figurative and portrait painting. The main directions of his work: portraits, still lifes and cityscapes. He paints his works in a studio located in the picturesque region of Slovakia and in Vienna. Born 1971 in Kiev (Ukraine) in a creative family. His first painting teacher was his mother. He studied at the art school at the Union of Artists of Ukraine. Workshop of P. Zikunov.
He continued his creative activity in Slovakia. Where did he move in 2012. Combining creativity and teaching. He taught painting at the art school of Prievidca, Slovakia. In cooperation with the Art Agency “Musicum Ad Libitum”, he held a series of master classes for art lovers. Participates in national art events under the patronage of the state. Collaborates with recognized Slovak, Austrian and German galleries.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
For me, this is an opportunity to know my inner state and the way I interact with the world. Relive exciting moments through the image. Painting allows you to very ecologically and deeply express even very strong emotions and feelings. Drawing is my natural way of expressing myself.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Most likely, I would designate it as realism with elements of impressionism and abstraction. It is at the junction of realism and impressionism, in my opinion, that it is best to convey the general emotional background of the picture. Emphasize the main aspects and make them as expressive as possible.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
Each new work allows me to convey even more subtly and deeply all the shades of mood and the meaning of the picture. It gives me pleasure to improve and develop my own style. This makes my work richer and more fulfilling.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
Painting has been in my life since childhood. This is a gift from my mother. My first undertakings were always supported by my family. During my school years, I could draw for several hours in a row, without being distracted by anything. It was such an inner impulse, a need. The plots themselves came to me, everything happened very naturally and organically. Although, now I already understand that from a technical point of view it was not at a high professional level. Rather, it was "drawn from the heart" so to speak.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
Material and tools are important to me. Although, I think this is important for all professions. Properly selected tools are an extension of yourself, making the creative process more virtuosic and refined. I work only on canvas, high quality Italian canvas holds paint well, allows you to make a picture multi-layered and deep. Now I like to work with a palette knife. It allows me to better express the emotional component of my work. Most of my work is occupied by images of people. And it is very important for me to convey all shades of experiences and emotions.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
I have always been interested in people. And in life too, not only in creativity. The inner world of a person is a whole planet. Deep alluring and unknown. To convey these states in all shades and nuances is the most interesting task for me. I would even say the central task of my work. It is always like a kind of professional and creative challenge to yourself. And of course I love paintings with genre scenes. I see great potential in this kind of work. They can be compared with an episode from a film and a theatrical production. Such paintings are a story told with paints. They can be immersed in an exciting novel.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
Each painting has its own history. Some plots are a hurricane. They appear quickly and "require" immediate implementation. They won't let you go until you finish the job. There are plots that “grow up” and form gradually, without jerks. From idea to implementation. There are "long-playing" pictures. They evoke an internal dialogue and require more time for the story to take shape. And it was possible to start implementation. Each stage of creating a picture is interesting in its own way.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
I work in my studio. It is located in a picturesque region of Slovakia. Landscapes outside my windows are my additional source of inspiration. I prefer to work at the easel in the morning. When the soft sunlight comes through the windows. And makes the lighting in my opinion ideal for work.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I do not have a clear rule on this matter, more often I work on several parts at the same time, having previously done some underpainting.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
At the beginning of my career, I was inspired by the masters of the old school, especially Rembrandt. I tried to figure out and implement their special techniques of working with light and shadow. Admiring the fine detail. He improved in the pasty technique of performing works. To give your characters volume and liveliness. Also, N. Feshin's painting had a great influence on the formation of my creative style. His laconic perfection of lines in the depiction of human figures. And their high emotional saturation. My love for working with a palette knife is also from him. I can not help but introduce my creative mentor, one of the leading figures of modern Ukrainian painting P. Zikunov. He became for me not only a teacher, but also a friend.
Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?
As I already mentioned, I highly appreciate the work of Nikolai Feshin. He is a recognized master of figurative painting. He managed to combine the depth of transmission and lightness in the image. This is especially difficult when you need to convey the emotional state of a person.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Giving advice is a thankless task. Especially if it wasn't asked for, however I can share my opinion. Don't be afraid to do it. This, in my opinion, is especially important at the beginning of the creative path. When there is a lot of doubt and uncertainty. More hands-on experience. This is the only way to grow into a professional and realize your potential.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
Yes, this is a hot topic for most artists. I think that the ability to stop in time is one of the signs of an artist's maturity. But there is always a temptation to improve, to make your work more polished. I, like everyone else at the beginning of my career, could not always stop in time. Now I have experience in this. But there are jobs that are especially difficult to part with. In terms of completing the creative process.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?
An artist, like any person, can express his position. But whether creativity will be an expression of his opinion or position is a personal decision for everyone. In my opinion, all works reflect the position of their creator to one degree or another. I think the influence is mutual. The artist is influenced by the society in which he lives, era, upbringing. And he, in turn, is also a certain “factor of influence”. And a spokesman for ideas and positions, broadcasting it through his works. But I think it is not worth exaggerating the possibilities of influence of artists in the digital age.
What are you working on at the moment?
Now I'm starting work on a series of genre portraits. While it is at the stage of final selection of plots. And the creation of a common compositional group. This is what I would say "underwater" part of the work. It is not visible, but often takes longer than the imaging process itself. Until the story takes shape. And you can start implementing.
When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?In February, I participate in a group exhibition, which will be held in one of the architectural monuments of Slovakia, Beskup Castle. I am getting ready for a personal exhibition of female portraits in April of the gallery in Poprad, Slovakia.