It’s hard to unambiguously define the style of a painting signed KALASHNIK. The artist calls it “phantom realism” and hopes for a better definition from critics, while treating such judgments with a sufficient share of irony and skepticism. According to the artist, masterful artistic skills without an original idea as wells as unique creative ideas without due and evident effort can hardly be of any interest to him. His path, as he mentions it with a smile, is to have some hard times before getting a worthy result. Evidently, this is the reason why the number of his paintings completed during the first two years of his artistic endeavors hardly amounts to ten.
Born in 1978 in the city of Atbasar, Kazakhstan, Vitaliy moved to the city of Togliatti together with his mother at the age of five and after yet another year moved to the city of Kogalym in the north of Tyumen region. Vitaliy lived in Kogalym until the age of 17 and moved to Ekaterinburg all by himself to fulfill the dream of his childhood — to study architecture. Vitaliy graduated from Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts in 2004 majoring in “Architecture of Residential and Public Buildings”.
Vitaliy took up painting in his student years but back then it was more of a hobby: each painting from that period resembled paintings of one of renown artists or sim- ply the artists Vitaliy knew of. These paintings were not based on some individual artistic concept, not that Vitaliy had any idea about it. According to the artist, he simply enjoyed the process. Meanwhile, the painting as such along with academic drawing were mandatory disciplines of any art college. Vitaliy did understand the replicative nature of his early works but it did not prevent him from taking part in an exhibition of young artists of Urals in the year 2000. Finally, the conflict between his artistic ambitions and direct results of his artistic efforts forced Vitaliy to finish with art and to plunge into the new profession at that time – profession of graphic designer that became his main activity for the decade to come after graduation.
Designer’s career was developing more than successfully and Vitaliy was invited as an art director by a reputable advertisement agency no later than 2005 and by early 2010 he was holding a position of Digital Projects Creative Director with Kom- mersant Publishing House, one of the largest publishing houses in Europe. But that unique concept and clear vision of his place in big art which he missed in his stu- dent years suddenly came to him at the peak of his successful career....
Late 2012 he resigned from Kommersant, bought a small house near Moscow as a studio and started painting again (also practicing design time after time). This time his head was full of ideas, concepts, images, sketches and plans.