and Custom Framing

Oleg Zhivetin

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Romantic Vineyard Romantic Vineyard, large unique oil on canvas.  (Sorry, sold for $6,500 framed.) 

Oleg Zhivetin was born March 18, 1964 in Uzbekistan.   He started school at six years of age; at age nine, he entered an art studio program for children where he soon began working with watercolors and creating landscapes.  As a teen he applied to the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts and began studying with a professional artist to prepare for the rigorous competition for admission.


Lovers with Flowers, embellished giclee, 40 x 32", $1,200 unframed Lovers with Flowers  

During this preparation, he spent a significant amount of time with his grandparents, who were warm and creative people.  Oleg watched as they crafted down comforters with intricately quilted patterns.  Many of these designs incorporated linear images of flowers with petals—symbols of simplicity, purity, and beauty seen in much of Oleg’s later work.

Oleg gained admission to the Academy of Fine Arts when he was 15.  There he spent each day painting, drawing, and studying traditional academic subjects.  After three years, Oleg applied for admission to the Surikov Art Institute, the Soviet Union’s most prestigious art school.  When his initial application was declined, he returned to Uzbekistan for a year and earned his degree in art education.  He then reapplied to the Surikov and was accepted — a great honor and an indication of his high level of talent and technical ability.

At the Surikov, Oleg studied under such highly respected Soviet artists as Yuri Karilov, Director of the Tretyakov Museum.  He concentrated on producing his best work and completing his degree in a Master of Fine Arts.


Serenade   Serenade, Serigraph on canvas, 36 x 48", $1,250 unframed

With graduation nearing, financial survival as an artist concerned Oleg more and more.  He hired a neighbor to sell his paintings on the street, and as the months went by his work began to sell.  One day, the neighbor asked him, “Would you like to go to America?”  He gave Oleg a matchbook with a phone number left by a man looking for talented artists to sponsor.  Oleg called.


Tender Heart Tender Heart, Original serigraph, 36 x 36",$900 unframed

The sponsor provided Oleg with a three-month visa to work in the U.S. He arrived in California and eventually found his way to Laguna Beach where he made a quick assessment of the type of art selling in local galleries.  He completed several still-life paintings and took them to a Russian art dealer who instantly recognized the quality of his work.  The response to Oleg’s art was immediate and he was able to take the first steps to financial and artistic independence.


The Gift The Gift, Embellished giclee, 22 x 26", $550 unframed

Russian icon painting is a basic and profound point-of-reference in Oleg’s work.  The viewer will find religious imagery—golden halos, Madonnas, angels, and saints.  Other typical icons include hearts, musical instruments, books, celestial beings, and flowers—symbols of beauty, delicacy, and spiritual development.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Oleg’s painting is his skillful rendering of faces, hands, and feet.  His characters often communicate through the use of hand gestures rather than eye contact.  Gestures are imbued with subtle meaning; a deep sense of shared experience is created through this control of body language.

Three Graces Three Graces, Embellished giclee on paper, 44 x 23",  $900 unframed

His combination of geometric shapes and abstract patterns — often applied onto canvas in gold foil or gold leaf — is truly masterful.  His characters’ faces evolve from flat, mask-like images to fully realized visages exuding intelligence and emotion.  Their facial contours are delicately and softly molded.

To stand before an Oleg masterpiece is an experience you will not soon forget; to own one is a source of pride and privilege.   Saper Galleries is proud to represent Oleg to collectors worldwide.

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