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EARTHBURG: Maksim Konchalovsky: Biography

Maksim Konchalovsky

Short autobiography

For the first time I've felt interest to art when I was six years old. There is an album of drawings in the family archive, which I've done when I was five. When I was six, after a visiting of my grandfather Pyotr P. Konchalovsky's exhibition, I've been so fascinated that I've made in my living room together with my brother my first exhibition. I've drew landscapes, still lives and portraits of my family, spending 10 minutes on each ones, to show them my exhibition as soon as possible.

My aunt Tatiana Maksimovna Konchalovskaya, who was a painter, was my teacher, she graduated from VHUTEMAS, where studied on Yuon's, Osmjorkin's and Kardovsky's courses and later she studied Nikolai Ulyanov – especially talented painter and Serov's student. When I was 5 my parents put attention on my interest to music. Fortunately I've got perfect ear and I've entered into music school. But my love to paint stay with me through all my life.

My music carrier went on an ordinary way, I've seen myself in beautiful future as exponent. After I've graduated from music school with order, nearly automatically I have become a student of the music college of Moscow Conservatory in the class of its best teacher – professor Rubbach. After college was the Conservatory itself, class of the great Emil Gilels. My diploma program was marked among the bests.

But! Have been studying in two schools, I've found snatches for painting and sculpture. I have drawn during long illnesses (I have not got a good health in my childhood). I've drawn portraits of my family and even when I was a child my portraits were founded as a good likeness. I have copied Rafael, Leonardo, Lippi, Masaccio and many others. I have written all about it in my book "Consonance". To the twelve I have known the Renaissance so well that Russian and French painters become interesting for me, especially – Impressionists.

There were works of Vrubel, Serov, Korovin, Ulyanov, Surikov – friends of my forefathers – on the walls of my home. I knew a lot about them from my grandmother, who have known them personally.

When I studied in Conservatory I turned to paintings again, and drew in summer time during vocations. First serious works belong to those times.

During often tours on Russia and random visits abroad I tried to find a time to make an aquarelle sketches of towns and places, – architecture was always interesting to me.

From 1973 to 1989 I worked on TV as scenario writer,.. but I also had to take part in recordings: playing piano, reciting versus and prose, preparing video-sets on paintings and architecture. Thus movie cycle "Music, poetry, painting" appeared (about 40 series) on Central TV, which reflected my concert cycle under the same name.

From 1990 I had turned to the painting from time to time. Two years ago I decided to dedicate to this all my time. I have to say that I want to express now on canvas all the impressions that I've collected during last years.

People often ask me now: "What is your style? Whom do you imitate to?" I always did what I want and felt. All my concert programs were born by myself. All of them had growth from my passions, my love to different arts. Neither before nor after me in Russia anybody done something in the form I've done on the concert stage. I start to paint when not an idea but the rage comes rushing on me and forces me to express what I love in the nature rounded me, and it is not just birches.

I never do sketches for canvases. Just once I have drawn 20 sketches for the "Max's Birthday", – this work includes 32 personages, and it was needed to define places, make acquaintance, mash on, harmonize each of them.

Usually I think out a story for a long time and put it on canvas only after everything is ready in my head. Of course, I do not exclude some improvisation. I paint fast – two-tree days. But nobody knows that I think about it continuously during weeks, sometimes months.

Tintoretto and Veronese are the greatest for me up to today. I want to learn on them. I nearly forget myself when I see the best works of Tizianī in Venice, Velasquez in Prado.

My manner often remains impressionism to people, yes, I am not against, but it is not all. Tintoretto has a lot of impressionism, great and my favorite Frans Hals is so modern, that I refuse from all Epochs, directions and styles leaving it to imitators of all times. Genius are out of politics, times, nations, out of all except truth of their art.

When I've been on exhibition of paintings from Dresden Pinacotheca, in 1955 together with my grandfather Pyotr Konchalovsky, we both had delighted at the "Girl with a Fan" by Tizianī. 30 years have passed. I had arrived in Firenze, went in Palazzo Pitti. And in vast hall I had seen well known the "Girl with a Fan". But how it could be here? May be germen had sold it? Coming closer step by step I had seen that it was she, but then – it was not… And when I could read, there was "Rubens. The copy of the "Girl with a Fan" by Tizianī".