From a very early age, I was driven to draw and paint. I am not sure why it started; perhaps I was inspired by the numerous extraordinary art museums in my home city of St. Petersburg, Russia – Hermitage, Russian Art Museum, and many others – as well as by simply wandering through its architectural splendor, and its beautiful everyday life. When I was eight, my parents enrolled me in a prestigious art school that led me to one of the best art academies in the country, the Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design. Rigorous classical training in fine art and education in design allowed me to pursue the opportunities and follow my passion for being creative and for pursuing art as my life’s work. I went through different phases in my career, from industrial and graphic design to corporate and advertising illustrations, until I finally moved to fine art a few years ago.
I take particular joy in observing the nuances of everyday life; en Plein Air sessions – in the city, by the water, on the road - take me outside to experience the mystique of lighting. This is how I am practicing landscape and still life paintings. It is my laboratory and my training ground.
But the most potent inspiration of all is the endless diversity of people, their shapes, their colors, their characters, and the emotions their body language expresses. I regard myself as a figurative artist. More than anything, I like the challenges of depicting a human body or a face in every unique detail, capturing the models' facial expressions and transferring my feelings about them, triggering my thoughts and associations. It’s a deeply satisfying process, which starts from the first touch of oil or my palette knife on a blank canvas or a paper, or watercolor on my brush or with charcoal in my hand.
When I finish a painting, the artistic process is far from over. The ultimate goal of my undertaking is to see how my explorations of the spatial depth, harmony of colors and lines in the composition, and my creation’s sheer artistic energy will strike not just me, but also other observers in the gallery. I hope that the subject will affect them the same way as it is inspired me when I started the painting. I seek to capture life in front of me in a way that engages the viewer in a visual dialogue, moving forward and backward across the plane of my canvas.
To this day, every time I am in front of the easel, I experience palpable excitement and a clearing of the head. I like converting this energy into my work. I feel empowered during such work. I feel elated when I like the result and when people like the result. I relish all the feelings that rush through me during the act of creating an artwork. Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” I like his sentiment, and I like the fact that it comes from a man who was fascinated with shapes and colors as much as I am. Art has a powerful impact on my life, and I value my life’s interaction with it, channeling love and courage into the visual language of shapes and colors.
Boris Lyubner is an illustrator, art professor, and award-winning artist. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he began his artistic training at age eight. Boris received an MFA with honors from Stieglitz St. Petersburg State Arts and Industry Design Academy, one of the most prestigious fine art institutes in Europe.
After immigrating to the US, Boris established a successful carrier as a nationally known advertising illustrator with corporate clients in the US and abroad. His distinctive style of paintings have appeared on the covers of premier magazines, corporate publications, and advertising campaigns, as well as have been used in prestigious annual reports, billboards, and murals. Many of his original paintings have been purchased separately for company boardrooms, the interiors of company headquarters, and corporate museums.
Since 2011, he has been an adjunct professor at San Francisco Academy of Art University and several New York universities, teaching fine art and illustration courses onsite and online. Mr. Lyubner is an active member of the Art Students League of NY, exhibiting in San Francisco and New York. He continues working on his fine art projects from his home studio in Brooklyn.