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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. 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 she 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 works.
Liudmila Kondakova created “Café Joie de Vivre” in 2014. The collage of all things Paris and its architecture is fully displayed against the backdrop of a quintessential Parisian brick wall. Café “Joie De Vivre” speaks of that sudden feeling of exuberant enjoyment of life that we often get. In this case “Joie De Vivre” is simply displayed in the beauty of Paris and its architecture. The architecture is portrayed in swirling views as if to indicate the fleeting feeling of “Joie De Vivre”. The Eiffel tower stands as a central piece surrounded by all other architectures and Parisian scenery, including here other views of the Eiffel tower from afar. Looking at “Café Joie De Vivre” you almost challenge yourself to either recognize some of the scenes or at least visit them once in your lifetime. The Arc de Triophe, Sacre Coeur, Pantheon, Les Invalides, Conciergerie, and the Notre-Dame de Paris are all shown in “Café Joie de Vivre” as a symbol of the magnificent architecture Paris has collected throughout the centuries. “Café Joie de Vivre” is a 45.5 x 38 – inch collage on acrylic on particle board.
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.