In Slava Ilyayev’s Sweet Talk, modern artist lights the way

Artist Slava Ilyayev’s “Sweet Talk” first publication from The Park West Gallery website – Morgan Shatzman ’21

Can a metamorphosis occur within a work of art with the flick of a switch? Slava llyayev, a modern impressionistic artist, has done just that with his painting Sweet Talk. The Russian born artist has reinvented the technique of oil on canvas and mastered the art of light deception. His unique style entices his audience as he is able to transform one painting into another by adjusting surrounding light. 

      Slava llyayev is known for his impressionistic style and colorful perspectives. His incorporation of texture, color, and light brings his works to life. This technique invites onlookers to experience a moment of time that changes as the angle of vision is altered. Ilyayav invites his audiences into his world of peaceful meditation as his subjects disappear into his canvas.

      Sweet Talk’s tree-lined path welcomes the viewer into the world of the unknown couple enjoying a moment alone under an umbrella. Though the sky is bright during this colorful fall afternoon,  the audience wonders why the umbrella is necessary. Does it protect the couple from the elements, or does it provide anonymity?

     The colorful trees lead us down the path from darkness to light. Ilyayev’s use of perspective is undoubtedly one of his most impressive talents. Not only does he embrace the use of color but also acknowledges the need to keep the trees tall and proud. They stand like soldiers saluting the couple in the distance and are reinforced by layers of comrades east and west of the path.

     The most engaging feature of this painting is its perfectly placed textured masses of oil paint on canvas. A lift to each leaf allows the brilliant fall colors to meld into the brightly lit background figures. Slava llyayev tastefully adds similar texture to the land below the trees, which bring strength to the path. However brilliant this technique appears, the secret is how its message is transformed by the quality and intensity of light that is used to display the painting.

      An amazing metamorphosis occurs as the angle and the quality of light is adjusted on the painting. In a bright light, the dimensional qualities of the piece are much more subtle. This lightens the mood and forces the audience to focus on the couple under the umbrella. When the light is positioned at an angle, the brilliance of the texture brings focus to the trees and the path that lead to the couple.  As the observer strolls by this work of art, the visual interpretation of the piece changes. This movement of the observer potentiates the effect of light and can transform this painting from an afternoon stroll to a post dinner affair. 

Artist Slava Ilyayev constructing “A Tent of Bright Coloured” (2017) on The Park West Gallery website – Morgan Shatzman ’21

     What does Ilyayev offer the modern world?  He takes his audience back to a more simplistic life where technology is less advanced and where spending quality time with loved ones is paramount. The world has suffered mass isolation as a consequence of the current pandemic, which has resulted in bringing our families closer together. With its bright and brilliant use of color, this painting reminds us that time with our family is sometimes lost in the hastened shuffle of our daily lives.

“The umbrella is an element that unites people with love and friendship. The couples in my artwork symbolize my wish to you. I want my collectors to take a trip in the world of my art in order to feel the richness and the brightness of the colors. I imagine that you are those people traveling under the umbrella, and that it makes you feel a love for life.”

artist Slava llyayev

     Slava llyayev studied at the Baku College of Arts in his native Azerbaijan and then moved to Israel, where he currently resides. He generally works with color and is interested in the affects of light on his paintings. The technique that he uses works in three stages. He applies the oil base, adds layers and then sculps with a knife the finished product. These works of art take at least a year to dry. Day or night, Sweet Talk amazes crowds and leaves behind a heartfelt peace for the couple as they stroll through the canvas.