January 9 2011

We love Alexey (Ljosha) Kurbatov’s classy portraits of famous people because they manage to be many things at once: gentle and powerful, subtle and strong, transparent and muscular, watercolory and sculptural.

Using muted hues, Ljosha achieves a sepia-toned, old-photograph look that lends subtlety and gravity to his portraits. This phenomenon is noticeable in all of the work of this young, Moscow-based graphic designer, illustrator, photographer and artist.

Ljosha’s art carries the solid look of mature importance. It avoids the common in-your-face, look-at-me, trying-too-hard desperation of yet-unknown illustrators and somehow makes him look like an old master.
Russian-speaking readers have seen many of his pieces on the pages (online and off) of Snob magazine and in other publications, also on album covers, posters and books. Moscow’s little non-commercial gallery of experimental projects, Chistka Odeshdi, held an exhibition of his work in July last year.