Arabella - - NEWS - De­bra Usher

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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"

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