If you took the work of Dali and married it to a Degas or Botticelli, the offspring would be a work by Ilya Zomb. There is a sense of mystery and dream-like curiosity which infuses these paintings and leads you to question – are they real or are they just a fantasy? "I am often asked how I classify my art," Ilya muses, "or to what style it belongs. I strongly disagree with the labels ‘Surrealism’ or ‘Fantasy Art’. I use the term ‘Pseudo-realism’. Every situation depicted in my paintings is possible, in spite of how unreal it might seem at first glance." But somehow other thoughts are called to mind. There is a sense that the symbolism in these paintings may echo the baroque symbolism of a Caravaggio, for example. A deeper meaning below the surface that is not quite attainable, which is often the way of dreams. Despite comparisons lingering at the reaches of consciousness, the one thing that separates the work of Ilya Zomb is that it truly is unique. Springing forth from the imagination and dreams of one man, it is depicted on canvas so that you too can find meaning and pleasure in the work. The process is that of traditional multilayered oil painting, which Ilya sees as a slow painstaking process. "In my earlier works," he says, "I created texture with a pallete knife. Today it's mostly brushwork. Each painting takes months to complete and starts with an idea in the head, then the idea in a sketch, a final drawing, then I transfer the drawing to canvas, and work, work and work, layer after layer of paint, defining details."
left, Ordinary Morning for Gathering Curiosities, oil on canvas, 46" x 32" above, Scene of Pastoral Yoga in Orange County, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"