Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Boomerang Child

Boomerang Child. Stitched words: Living with Dad....Again. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand embroidery and beading.  Unframed: 25" x 19"; framed 31" x 25".  Click on image to enlarge.

Nikolai Oshkolkov is a talented young visual artist and musician whose life is a mixture of interests and cultures. He's Russian; he's American. His conversations glide effortlessly between the two languages, the two artistic forms of expression, and with people of all ages and backgrounds. He's had three shows at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios.  (This is where my studio is located!) Each exhibition was a near "sell out". Each included a jam session.... banjo pickers and Nikolai on the balalaika, though he is equally competent on the piano.

Nikolai is also very young and trying to "make it" as a professional artist. His work is excellent; sales at his annual exhibit are excellent. Yet, like most young, struggling artists, the financial demands of the world are more overwhelming than the successes can fulfill. As a result, Nikolai is back at home.... his father's home.

I learned this during Nikolai's last exhibition. We had a chance to talk while he was hanging his artwork. I asked him to consider participating in my series ... and he said "yes" even before I got a chance to explain my ideas for the piece. I don't think Nikolai had ever heard the term "boomerang child". He just laughed, signed the model's release, and posed for the photos. Nikolai knows how hard it is to struggle for independence as an artist. He is always willing to help someone else pursuing this elusive dream. Thanks, Nikolai, for helping with my quest!

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