• Trotskyite Triptych
  • Self-portraits
  • Hidden works
  • Classical reminiscences
  • Political issues
  • Philosophical issues
  • Tatic

    Painting that is doubly engaged: denouncing the horrors of the twentieth century, of course, but also rediscovering the techniques of the Venetian, Flemish, and Dutch schools. Vlady paints humanity's intellectual and sensual adventures with desperate enthusiasm.

    Vlady's paintings address a double quest: How to portray the abomination that is not only theoretical but visual, and even sensual, of the twentieth century, and how to rediscover the timelessness of the great Venetian and Florentine masters. "If I had lived in Giorgione's or Verrocchio's studio, I wouldn't have been thinking about technique. Painting was established. Today, the art of painting is lost. We must rethink everything."

    From his revolutionary heritage, Vlady drew a passion for lost causes. Humanity in the twentieth century is hiding behind political and historical failure. Vlady's paintings comprise a virulent satire of all forms of power and a rediscovery of the stifled voices that said no to the abomination. The ice pick used to assassinate Trotsky is a symbol of absolute evil. It is found in almost all of Vlady's work.

    Vlady feels that the art of painting was lost in the nineteenth century. There have since been creative geniuses, from Van Gogh to Bacon, but they did not know technique. In two centuries, their works will be degraded, erased, gone. Commercial paints in tubes must be rejected. Their colours do not last; artists must break eggs and relearn the art of tempera. With humility. Tempera is the indispensable basis of all painting. Then colours must be created one by one in the alchemist's crucible and laid in fine layers on the canvas. Each impasto adds to the sensuality. Vlady works over time. A painting might take ten years to complete; the important thing is for it to attain the luminous transparency of magical realism. Only after 30 or 40 successive layers does the right note emerge. Then the varnish sets this balance for eternity.

    The result is a light painting that favours waves, motion, convulsions. Whether we regard a clean line or the most massive form, we find ourselves plunged into a seething world. The "big bang" is not far away and lightning bolts of all sorts are unleashed according to a design that is intensely powerful -- but free. Vlady is the painter of movement.