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Vladimir Fomin was born in 1963 in the Siberian town of Tomsk. In 1989, he graduated from the Krasnoselskoe Jeweler School, where he specialized in jewelry design. Between 1984 and 1992, after he chose his artistic direction, Fomin fine-tuned his skills with the folk artists of Central Russia and studied the art of Finno-Ugric peoples of Siberia and the Russian North. From 1987 to 1989 the artist participated in district and regional exhibitions, and until 1994 exhibited his paintings on German and South Korean cruise ships.

Since 1992 Fomin has been living and working in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia. Fomin’s early works are painted in a style which can be called avant-garde lubok. This style is characterized by bright colors and simple compositions (traditional features of colored folk pictures), as well as by a combination of experimental stylizations of the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century (neo-primitivism), surrealism, and elements of Finno-Ugric ornament and decoration (seen in the refinement of lines and mosaic-like effects).

The cycle of works devoted to political and philosophical themes presents in exceedingly simple and fantastic images the major ideas and concepts of the end of the 20th century. The cycle includes “A Tornado,” “An Explosion,” The Smog,” “The Red Rain,” “The Great Janitor,” “Beyond the Fence,” “A Steam Locomotive,” “Devil’s Games,” “The Wizard of Emerald City,” “The War Has Come,” “Faces,” “An Inside-out Brain,” “The Red Hoodlums,” “A Gastronomical Masterpiece,” “A Feast of Buffoons,” and other works. The painting cycle on themes from childhood is characterized by fantastic images that combine, in a carnival manner, play and life. Many diptychs from this cycle are identifiable by their compositions. They feature colorful garlands that form a dynamic rhythm appropriate for the world of street celebrations. Included in this cycle are “The Clouds of My Childhood,” “The Fair,” “The Merry-go-round,” “The Circus Has Arrived,” “The Bears Were Riding,” “The Musicians Have Arrived,” “A Parade of Aviators,” “The Auto Rally,” “The Ferris Wheel,” “The Steamships Have Come,” and other paintings.

The series “Gifts” is a tribute to great artists and an acknowledgement of their great works. Fomin celebrates Chagall, Saryan, Giorgione, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Dali, De Chirico, Malevich, Filonov, Gallen-Kallela, Gumilev, Blok, Sibellius, Munch, and others. At the same time, the series is a reworking of the eternal themes in the individual unique style of the contemporary lubok practitioner. The series also includes “Gifts for the Artist’s Wife.”

In the Russian North, Fomin created the series "Vepsa" (devoted to the ancient cults of the inhabitants of Suomi and Karela), "Kizhi" (based on the architectural motifs from the island of Kizhi), and "Kalevala" (inspired by the Karelo-Finnish epic Kalevala).
Among the newest series of paintings are "Peer Gynt" (completed in 2000), "Friedrich Nietzsche," "Mandalas," "Northern Fairy Tales of the World," and "The Bible," "Pagandom", "Maidens.Ladys.Madonnas". In contrast to Fomin's earlier works, the recent ones are distinguished by the extreme saturation of space (recalling Filonov's concept of "madeness"), a greater plasticity of form, and a harmony of colors.
Fomin's art reveals deep optimism and a gentle and good-natured sense of irony regarding the world and man's place in it.

The artist is the subject of television documentaries produced in Russia, Germany, and Sweden.

Since 1995, Fomin has been involved in a collaborative project with the International Computer Gallery ART-INFO (backed by the agency ITAR-TASS). Fomin's works were included in three CD ROMs produced by ART-INFO. Examples of the works from all three CDs can be found on the Internet.

In 1995, ART-INFO and the agency ITAR-TASS released in Holland the second CD ROM "Modern Fine Art" ("the black cover CD"). Fomin was one of 100 artists from Russia, France, Israel, and other countries featured on the CD. The disk presented nine paintings and a short biography of the artist. In 1997, ITAR-TASS released the fourth CD in the series ("the white cover CD"), which included 29 works by Fomin and a bibliography. The fifth CD, published in 2002, contained 36 works by the artist.

Fomin's paintings are also featured on art CDs published by other foreign firms.

In 1995, a computer version of Fomin's "The Artist" was created by the Ukrainian computer-designer Alexander Kozhushner. The computer-generated image won the "Best of Europe" prize in the "Best of Europe and the World" international competition for computer graphics - Corel World Design Contest. 7500 participants submitted their works for the competition, which took place in Ottawa, Canada, and was sponsored by Corel, Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Canon, Wacom, Pixar, Polaroid, and other companies. "The Artist" received a certificate of achievement, a CD with the best works from the contest, and a commemorative medal.

Today, more than 700 works by Fomin are in the permanent collections of art galleries, museums, cultural centers, and embassies in the USA, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and other countries. In addition, they are in many private collections around the world.

Vladimir Fomin

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