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Georgy Kurasov

Georgy Kurasov was born in 1958 in the USSR, in what was then Leningrad. He still lives and works in the same place, but now the country is Russia and the city is called St Petersburg.

Georgy spent his childhood on the Petrograd Side, to the north of the city, in a tiny little flat with windows that looked out onto an even tinier courtyard. As far as he recalls, he modeled things in play dough and drew resting on the vast wooden windowsills. At the age of thirteen his mother put him in the art school under the umbrella of the Academy of Arts. At the interview it was politely explained that there was nothing for Georgy in the painting department since he had a total lack of feeling for color. So they suggested Georgy Kurasov join the sculpture class.

In some way he was pleased, since all the painted images they showed him seemed terribly boring, and Georgy had great interest in form.

In 1977 Georgy Kurasov entered the sculpture department of the Academy of Arts. He spent six years in the vast studio of a building erected during the time of Catherine the Great, in the late 18th century. Those narrow, incredibly high vaulted corridors, the vast studios, everything was inhabited by the ghosts of long dead masters of ages past, whose influence was very real. The Academy was a solid amalgamation of temple to and prison of the arts. Yet those years in the Academy were the best years of his life. Nearly all Georgy’s friends and colleagues date from those years.

It was then that Georgy met his wonderful Zina, who was later to occupy nearly all his space, both physical, in his life, and creative, in his works.

It was not the easiest of times. In order to take part in exhibitions you had to have something to display. And in order to create that something to display, you had to have a place in which to create it. Georgy had nowhere. At last, however, he managed to join the happy ranks of members of the Union of Artists, was allocated his tiny studio, and he was at the very peak of happiness.

Georgy Kurasov started to paint, but it soon became clear that selling his pictures for any acceptable price was going to be impossible, and so he had to feed his family by producing small pastels which Georgy sold through small galleries.

In 1993 his works were first exhibited in the USA. Since then, Georgy Kurasov have exhibited and sold his paintings exclusively in North America.

Americans see Georgy Kurasov as a Russian artist, Russians as an American artist. Painters think he is a sculptor. Sculptors are sure he is a painter. And when Georgy Kurasov thinks of it, he rather like this borderline existence. Perhaps it what makes it possible to be himself, to be unlike anyone else.

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