Leonid Afremov (1955)

The artist Leonid Afremov was born in city of Vitebsk, Belarus in  1955. Leonid Afremov graduated from Vitebsk Art School in 1978. Leonid was  building up his experience by painting a lot with oil and participating in  various exhibitions. But nevertheless, his talent achieved its real heights only when he moved to Israel in 1990. The scorching southern sun filled with colors  and brightness made Leonid's paintings positive and joyous. The artist himself is a convinced optimist and this can be easily seen in his creative artworks.

 His artistic style is unique and easily recognized.  Leonid uses palette-knife instead of regular brushes to put paint on canvas. Palette-knife itself is intended to be used for cleaning old paint from canvas.  It is very rare that any artist ventures to use it as an instrument in painting together with a brush, and it is even more rare that any artist uses it as his or her only instrument. Working with palette-knife gives fantastic possibilities, but it is also fantastically difficult to master. It took 10 years for Leonid Afremov to build up his palette-knife handling skill up to the level that it is now, and the work is far from being completed. 
Early Life and Education

Leonid Afremov was born on July 12th 1955 in Vitebsk, Belarus (Then former USSR) His father was a shoe designer and shoe maker, His mother was a worker in a metal factory in Vitebsk. Leonid was raised in a traditional Jewish home. His parents and  grandparents spoke Ydish at home. Leonid was a good student in school. He received good grades and has always been very interested in history and art. He  attended all the possible art classes offered in school and took private lessons from local artists. Leonid’s parents noticed his talent for painting in early age and encouraged him to develop the talent. 

  Life and Career in USA  
When he arrived in the US in January 2002, he had more than one hundred paintings at his disposal. Afremov found himself forced to paint only limited themes and subjects for living. There was no room for artistic freedom when he had to put food on the table. 

Leonid had good opportunities in New York but the cold climate affected his health. He was constantly struggling with arthritis and muscular pain caused by drastic temperature changes. Thus he moved to Fort Lauderdale in April 2002, The rest of the family joined him few months later. In Florida Afremov experienced the same challenges as New York, only certain themes and subjects were selling. Afremov had no room to paint something from his soul, something he really wanted to paint. He had to paint what the galleries wanted and were able to sell. He almost gave up hope of painting what he really wanted. He was faced with a hard dilemma, paint what he wants and starve or paint what the galleries suggest. 

In 2004, Leonid was introduced to ebay.com by his friends. He researched the site and saw other artists selling their work. He tried to sell a couple paintings by auction and immediately received magnificent success. Paintings were sold for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars and everything sold without exception. For the first time Afremov was given an opportunity to paint what he really wanted. He was able to forget the pressure of making a sale and explore himself as an artist. At this point the real artistic journey began. Afremov finally began painting what he really wanted from his personal inspirations. He finally was able to explore his artistic vision and abilities all the way. All of the popular paintings you see on hundreds of blogs and sites were painted during this period and after to this day. The exposure on eBay gave him opportunities for commission orders and access to different galleries. However, because of negative experiences with galleries, Leonid preferred to sell directly to the collector. 

Artistic Philosophy : 

Leonid Afremov keeps the majority of his art politically neutral. His paintings are not offensive to anyone nor send any hidden messages. The paintings usually reflect certain personal memories and emotions. Leonid Afremov tries to draw the viewer to have a certain feeling rather than tell a story via the painting, or have the viewer see the world how the he sees it. The neutral attributes of Afremov’s art make the paintings appealing to almost any social, ethnic and age group. Leonid Afremov has been traveling quite extensively and has taken many photographs of different scenes that he later painted. Almost every painting he painted has a very personal inspiration. His art can be reflected as very positive through the  bright colors he uses.  Leonid Afremov loves cats and other animals; he has had cats throughout his entire life. He has painted many paintings of cats, dogs, horses, tigers and even giraffes. The only political paintings he has are of bull-fighting , where he tries to show the viewer the cruel nature of the sport and discourage the viewers from liking bull-fighting. 

Commercial Philosophy: 

Leonid Afremov never wanted to become a famous artist or an expensive artist. He considers every painting as his child, or a piece of his soul. The only thing he has always wanted is to share this child with the world. The first painting painted originally cost thousands of dollars, but a recreation looks just as good and does not cost much because it’s not one of a kind. He also paints very small one of a kind originals just so people who really want an original Afremov painting can afford one. With his unique palette knife style it’s impossible to recreate a painting 100% the same way. Every stroke of the palette knife is like a fingerprint which is impossible to repeat.