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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Featured Artist: Bryce Vinokurov

UC Davis art lecturer to be featured at Alex Bult gallery

 

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UC Davis art lecturer Bryce Vinokurov will be presenting his most recent work “Tel Aviv: Urban Landscapes” at the Alex Bult Gallery in Sacramento. A preview will be held on Oct. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m., and an open reception will be held on Oct. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. The show will run from Oct. 9 to Nov. 1.

The gallery, which features 55 art pieces inspired by various buildings throughout Tel Aviv, Israel, is influenced by Vinokurov’s recent four-month stay in Tel Aviv during the spring. According to the artist, the gallery will not include paintings of specific sites from Tel Aviv, but rather collages of buildings and landscapes that Vinokurov witnessed during his time there.

Vinokurov pointed out that it was the grittiness of Tel Aviv that attracted him to the city. He also noted that there was a combination of first and third-world aspects in the city that led to his decision to use Tel Aviv as the inspiration for his next art exhibit.

“So you’re walking through Tel Aviv and there’s this beautiful bow house building and it’s really fancy, and then [right next to the house] you’ll have a guy in a cart with a horse selling watermelons. It’s cool,” Vinokurov said.

Additionally, due to the abundance of bow houses, which are pristine-looking buildings with curved fronts, Vinokurov chose a very monochromatic palette for this show, which is a departure from his usually colorful work.

“It’s also called the white city because of all these bow house buildings,” Vinokurov said. “There’s a lot of greys and blues and whites.”

Jeff King, a former graduate student of Vinokurov, previewed Vinokurov’s upcoming show. King compared the aesthetic of Vinokurov’s exhibit to that of other current prominent painters.

“Many seem to quietly verge on abstraction and subtly reference more recent painters like Richard Diebenkorn and Marlene Dumas,” King said. “It’s an intriguing body of work that I’m eager to spend more time with.”

Vinokurov has been visiting Tel Aviv on and off for over 20 years. While he had wanted to produce art on the city since he was young, it wasn’t until recently that Vinokurov noted that he has matured enough to capture the essence of Tel Aviv in a way that satisfies him.

“The city is not Paris, and it’s not traditionally beautiful, so I think for years I’ve not been able to make it somehow into a body of work,” Vinokurov said. “Now I think I’ve kind of embraced the grittiness of it.”

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For those who have visited Tel Aviv, Vinokurov said that he hopes his exhibit will bring a nostalgic feeling for the city. Vinokurov hopes visitors of his exhibit that have not been to Tel Aviv will be able to visually experience the city as he has.

“Whether it be ‘Oh, I want to go there’ or ‘That’s a little rough around the edges’ or whatever they want to say about it, I want them to have a view of Tel Aviv through my eyes,” Vinokurov said.

Vinokurov said that he was always interested in art as a child, though he notes that it wasn’t until his time in college that he realized art was something he wanted to pursue. While he is an artist first, Vinokurov also explains his love for teaching, which he describes as a symbiotic relationship with his students.

“What’s amazing is people are always like, ‘Do you get bored?’ My answer is ‘no’ because every class is different, every student is different,” Vinokurov said. “You’ll find somehow a student uses a combination of paint that I never knew you could. I learn just as much from them as they learn from me.”

Brodie Hegg, a former undergraduate student of Vinokurov, detailed his experience in Vinokurov’s printmaking class that led to his appreciation of art.

“Bryce was always helpful and never seemed fazed by our constant mistakes. He just calmly helped us figure out how to make our work better,” Hegg said. “I would not have had the same appreciation had I not taken Bryce’s courses.”

In response to young artists looking to pursue a career in art, Vinokurov advises students to practice copiously, look everywhere for inspiration and not give up.

“I think the advice for a young painter is to stick with it,” Vinokurov said. “There are going to be times when you feel that you’re not good. There are going to be times when you feel that you’re great. Just keep producing tons of work and you’re going to get through.”

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