Park City Fine Art will welcome Russian-born artist Alexei Butirskiy
Ryan Summerlin February 28, 2014
Russian-born painter Alexei Butirskiy first visited Park City in 2002, during the Winter Olympic Games and fell in love with the area.
This weekend, Butirskiy returns to town after the 2014 Games and will show his works at Park City Fine Art.
He will be at the gallery, located at 577 Main St., on Saturday, March 1, from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m.
More than anything, he is excited to show Parkites his works, some of which were inspired by the area’s landmarks and terrain.
"I am really happy to go to Park City," Butirskiy said during a phone call from Phoenix, Ariz. "I haven’t been there for about four years. It’s my favorite place to visit. And looking forward to having a show."
Among the works on display will be one called "Park City Sunset," which depicts McPolin Barn in the winter.
The painting was created about six years ago, and is not the first to include or feature a major Park City landmark to appear.
A young couple first commissioned Butirskiy to do a couple of paintings of a local cabin, he said.
"I have since used that cabin in other paintings as well," he said. "I also love the mountains around Park City and the waterfalls and mountains."
Unlike some painters, Butirskiy doesn’t prefer to capture a scene down to every detail. Instead, he will create a single painting that will include many different scenes from different places.
"When I paint, I don’t just copy from any particular place," he explained. "I try to memorize the original impression I had when I was somewhere, and then I recompose it in my head, based on how I feel about it. I think it is very important for an artist to not just copy mechanically from nature. In that case, the artist could be replaced by a camera."
The result is an all-original work that, in some cases, contains two or three structures or scenes that are from different parts of the world.
"I have traveled across the United States and Europe and I have taken hundreds of photographs," he said. "I will use bits and pieces from several different photos or sometimes I will put in my own ideas, as far as what buildings would look nice alongside another."
The catch is he never paints directly from a photograph and doesn’t paint anything that he hasn’t seen in person.
"The source of my inspiration is life itself," he said. "I observe the beauty of my surroundings and love to share my appreciation of the world through my eyes and transfer it to my viewers by way of my canvas."
Butirskiy began painting when he was six years old and living in Moscow.
His father was a physicist and his mother was an engineer who designed bridges.
"I like the buildings and architecture because of what my parents did," he said. "And I like buildings and structures."
His parents discovered their son’s knack for painting when they came home one day and saw that he had painted one of their walls.
Instead of getting angry, his mother left the painting on the wall for years, and both she and her husband encouraged Butirskiy to pursue art in his studies.
In 1992, he entered Moscow Art College and finished his studies in 1992 with an Excellence Diploma. Then, in 1998, Butirskiy completed the Russian Academy of the Arts where he studied under respected professor L.S. Hasyanova.
While his specialty is in structures and buildings, Butirskiy paints other subjects such as landscapes and still life.
His mediums include charcoal, watercolors, pastels and pencils, but for him, there is nothing like oils.
"I enjoy working with oils, because all the old masters used oil," he said. "There is a lot of flexibility in that medium and you get rich colors."
Since 2001, Butirskiy has exhibited around the world, including one-man shows in Russia, England and the United States. And in 2007, he was invited to show his work at the prestigious Il Vittoriano in Italy.
Butirskiy’s works can be found in galleries and private collections throughout France, Austria, Germany, Morocco, Switzerland, Russia and Canada.
Park City Fine Art will have 40 Butirskiy pieces, including prints.
"I will also bring a couple of brand-new pieces that I’m working on, if I get them done," he said with a laugh. "I will do them for sure, now that I’ve talked with you."
Park City Fine Art, 577 Main St., will host Russian-born painter Alexei Butirskiy on Friday, Feb. 28, until 9 p.m. and on Saturday, March 1, from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 435-649-3583 or visit www.parkcityfineart.com.