Vasily Belikov Biography

Belikov Vasilij Matveevich (1922-1994) Born in Svishchevka, Tambov Province, Russia in 1922. Studied at the Astrakhan Art School between 1938 and 1941. Served in the armed forces as a sailor between 1941 and 1947, participating in the Second World War. After leaving the navy he continued his studies at the Penza Art School between 1947 and 1950. Upon finishing art school he worked for the Penza branch of the Art Fund of Russia during which time he became their director. At the age of 40 he fell ill with tuberculosis, struggled against the illness for several years and eventually overcame it. Since then he devoted himself to creativity through his art. He regularly attended summer residencies for creative art (Academicheskaya) where he became acquainted with many of the leading artists of the country. In 1975 he was accepted into the USSR Union of Artists. His main creative expression was in landscapes and to a lesser degree, still life and portraits. The artist is listed in "A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Russian and Soviet Painters" and also in the "World Biographical Dictionary of Artists" (Saur Verlag GmbH & Co, Redaktion AKL, Leipzig, Germany; Volume 8). V.Belikov has the 4-th cathegory in the “United Artist Rating”.

Artist's Statement

All my paintings are autobiographical. I encounter nature in order to express my attitude to the world, whether working on a portrait, landscape, or still life. The most brutal thing for an artist is indifference and complacency. This only leads both the artist as well as his artwork to mediocrity and impersonality. Dialogue about painting is difficult, almost impossible. Painting evades words; it has its own language. Art cannot be explained and it doesn’t need to be understood; it should be felt. This is a special world with its own laws, and not subject to distinct rules. Not everyone can join in this world, one needs to have the pure and receptive soul of a child. Art is something that you have experienced, life's blood is running in the art. No matter how pleasant the work in the studio is, it will not replace the joy the artist experiences working in the open air. The artist only depicts on canvas what he experienced. It is part of him as his life, his joy, his grief and his destiny… V.Belikov