At the age of six, Lev began studying drawing and painting at a children’s art school in Lugansk, then part of the USSR and now in Ukraine. Later, he attended the Kiev National University of Construction and Architecture where he studied architecture alongside drawing, painting, sculpture, composition and art history.
When he receives a brief, Lev looks carefully at the concept and what the client wants, identifying the narrative that will underpin his piece. He renders in watercolour and coloured pencils on toned paper, and loves doing the detailed side of the work, using very thin brushes and tiny little strokes. “The details often tell more story than the whole picture,” he says.
Magic Realism is at the heart of Lev’s style. Imagine combining the traditional feel of Breugel’s paintings of the folk around him with the realism, depth and light touch of Andrew Wyeth, plus the magic of the story he’s illustrating, and you have a rough formula for Lev’s imagery. It’s the realism that convinces the viewer, while the ideas and emotions of the artwork take them away to a new and magical place.
Thienemann-Esslinger Publishing, Baku-Magazine, Moscow, Jung von Matt Werbeagentur, Berlin, Rocket Yard Advertising, Tallinn, Steve Cohen Chamber Magic Show, Saatchi & Saatchi, Beijing