Art News: Anastasia the Great
Anastasia was born in Russia, in 1966, on April the 15th, coinciding with the birth date of Leonardo da Vinci. She was raised in an orthodox monastery. Anastasia was offered a genuine classical education, as strict as it was unique, emphasizing in painting and restoration of antique icons. She was also given eclectic learning and advanced knowledge, by private teachers, in literature, poetry, music and philosophy.
At the early age of five, she had already begun making copies of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings. Anastasia, just like Leonardo, is considered a “Monster of Art”, due to her amazing diversity and tremendous versatility; her extreme talent extends in any possible form of Art and recognizes no barrier at all.
After spending 15 years in the convent, she moved to St. Petersburg and then started to travel all over Europe. Italy was the main country of her study and inspiration. In 1989, she opened up her first studio for fine arts, design and photography, in Milan. There, she was mainly working on restoration of antiquities; on parallel, she has successfully designed and decorated hotels, private houses and several restaurants, including the notorious Porcao di Milano. After studying in the culinary school of the famous Gualtiero Marchesi, master of creative “nouvelle cuisine” (also attending Fine-Cooking classes in Munich), she has received her diploma as a Chef.
In 1993, Anastasia moves to Rome, falling in love with the Eternal City. The late King Hussein of Jordan invited her to make his portrait, in 1995. It’s a big success! His highness is astonished with the results!
The VATICAN itself, entrusts her to restore several frescos in churches of historical significance. Therefore, in 1996, she was offered the privilege to create her own fresco in the 15th century church of Santa Croce, at Vieste, South Italy. “Madonna di Santa Croce” remains ever since a very rare example, for co-existence of Renaissance’s magnificence and the fine work of a contemporary artist.
In Rome, Anastasia opens up the private club “Model Agency”, a meeting point for celebrities: politicians, movie stars, and the whole of the fashion elite.
The very same year, she moves to the United States. She’s commissioned by Sylvester Stallone to create a series of paintings, including the portrait of his wife and daughter. In the amazing “Madonna di Stallone”, 24k gold, real diamonds and emeralds are used. She starts to co-operate with big corporations, and “Celebrity Cruises” (by suggestion of Executive Senior Vice President Demetrios Kaparis) hires her to create murals and sculptures of impressive dimensions, for 3 brand new cruise boats, in the “Millennium Class”.
Anastasia is the one and only artist who was entrusted to make a giant icon for Ziff Ballet Opera House – Performing Arts Center of Miami, using 24k gold leaves. She has also created a hand-made Jaguar vehicle, a unique prototype, for Warren Henry.
At the time being, she’s working on an enormous project, a 350 ft high golden-bronze monument, incorporating a water fountain, fire, laser lights, and 2000 white marble steps. An interior elevator is leading all visitors to the top of the monument, offering them a spectacular panoramic view of Miami.
Anastasia is currently living and working between Italy, Greece and USA.
She’s co-operating with major charity foundations, donating her art for philanthropic purposes.
She has managed to form and establish a personal style, wholly unique, inspired by the early Byzantine iconography, endorsing impressions of Hellenistic and Roman art. She’s fruitfully influenced by the big pioneers of the Pre-Renaissance period, such as Giotto and Masaccio (mediator between medieval “flat” iconography and Renaissance three-dimensional painting), the unmatched classics of the golden era of Renaissance, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci (when it comes to knowledge of human anatomy and sense of perspective) and the great painters of Flander(as she displays the same attention to the presentation of details). And, like Hieronymus Bosch, the very first surrealist in the History of Art, she’s expressing an unlimited fantasy and an iconoclastic tendency to innovation, presenting images never seen before.
An “Anastasia’s original” is made on precious wood, painted with egg-tempera (the yolk of the egg is mixed together with pulverized semi-precious stones –like malachite, lapis lazuli, etc. –soil, minerals and other natural ingredients) and plated with 24k gold leaves.
In numerous selected pieces, precious stones are used (such as diamonds, emeralds, etc.), following the great tradition of the Byzantine icons. The paintings are covered with a thin layer of natural bee-wax that protects them from corrosion for a minimum of 2000 years; therefore are gifted with the element of timelessness.
Anastasia’s own style is like no other in the World of Art. She’s eclectic, with an incredible force of inner energy.
As an artist she’s multi-talented, polymorphous, versatile, with unlimited dexterities and unstoppable imagination. She describes her art as: “A Symphony of colours, lines and forms illuminated by the splendour of gold and diamonds”. Her “sui generis” personality combines absolute seriousness, dedication to creation and discipline, with an extravagant, theatrical, flamboyant side, and somehow, she manages to copulate and amalgamate these contradicting elements.
Being in a constant struggle for harmony within herself, she makes her art a way to express the sense of this required harmony. Then, she’s communicating that sense with the people who share her vision, and projecting it to the Whole Creation.
She epitomizes her philosophy: “My life is hard work, drama and eternal fight with ignorance and injustice. Throughout my art, I’d like to bring to the World: Hope, Love and Peace, embracing my audience with an invisible veil that protects them from the shadows of evil, the same way Madonna is protecting the Holy Infant”.
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