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Liudmila Kondakova’s first childhood memories were all bright color: reds, blues, greens, yellows, and whites. She recalls that her first persistent question to the adults around her was “What color is this”? Painting absorbs Kondakova’s whole being. If she is not painting, she is thinking about her current or future projects. The days when she does not work, she considers lost. Liudmila Kondakova painted with egg tempera for many years. It is an unforgiving technique. If you make a mistake, you have to start over. Through this process, she learned planning and discipline and uses those skills to create highly detailed paintings of her favorite cities, places, and spaces. She starts painting from the farthest background area, and she works forward. From the darkest parts of the painting to the lightest, as if she is bringing her composition from darkness to light. Paris is a city that Kondakova has portrayed time and again in her work, and its architecture has inspired many of her artworks.
“Homage to Mucha” is part of Liudmila Kondakova's elegantly designed four-piece suite entitled “Sidewalks of Paris.” The four images depict direct views of the wonderfully detailed facades of Parisian store-fronts. The artist’s passion for this ever-popular romantic city is again captured with spectacular detail.
The four views presented to capture the Paris of years gone by, a city full of mystery and enchantment. Kondakova lovingly paints the cobblestone streets and storefronts with her color palette. No present architecture could visually speak to us in such a convincing manner. The suite is comprised of “Chez Julien,” “Chez Eugene,” “Homage to Mucha,” and “Toy Store”. The Sidewalks of Paris suite is a beautiful addition to an already successful selection of serigraphs created by Liudmila Kondakova. Either individually or together, they take us on a stroll through the sidewalks of Paris and allow us to revel in the charm and romance of the city.
In “Homage to Mucha” the architecture speaks to the past. The poster figures that adorn the doorway were created by the infamous French illustrator, Mucha. The posters are highlighted in the mahogany façade. On the cobbled street, we see the shadow of what looks to be a tree nearby. The shadows that penetrate the room on the second-floor balcony are indicative or Kondakova’s detailed style of work. As the title clearly indicates this artwork is an homage to an illustrator such as Mucha, who Kondakova finds inspiration from. “Homage to Mucha” is an 18 x 24 – inch hand signed serigraph on black paper.
Born in Russia in 1956, Liudmila Kondakova immigrated to the United States in 1991. A graduate of the Grabar Center in Moscow, she also attended Russia’s School of Sacred Arts, the Moscow Pedagogical Institute and the Moscow Art Institute. Kondakova connects her highly trained background to her artistic expression this way: “In my art, the essence and beauty has always rested in the details.” Original paintings and limited edition prints by Liudmila Kondakova have an honored place in private collections around the world.