Soviet Russian painter Alexander Shilov was born in Moscow, on October 6, 1943. The artist of Socialist Realism Alexander Shilov is famous for his ceremonial portraits, in his collection there are more than 600 of them. Shilov painted portraits of all the leaders of the Soviet Union and Russia including Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, as well as most of cosmonauts. In 1992 one of the asteroids was named after him – ‘4164 Shilov’ (discovered by Lyudmila Ivanovna Chernykh). Being criticized by his opponents, Alexander Shilov has been always supported by the Kremlin leaders. Since 1999 he is a member of the Presidential Council for Culture and the Arts. Since 2012 – a member of the Public Council under the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. In February 2012, joined the list of authorized representatives of presidential candidate Vladimir Putin.
It is the man, his personality, uniqueness are the bustling center of creativity of the artist. The heroes of his works – the people of different social status, age, physical appearance, intelligence, character. They are politicians and church leaders, prominent scientists and artists, doctors and war heroes, the workers and rural workers, the elderly and the young, businessmen and the homeless. Among them – the portraits of cosmonauts Klimuk (1976), Sevastianova (1976), Shatalov (1978), “Son of the Motherland” (Yuri Gagarin, 1980), “The academician NN Semenov” (1982), “On the day of victory. PP Shorin Gunner” (1987), “Metropolitan Filaret “(1987), “Metropolitan Methodius” ( 1990), “Archbishop Pimen” (1990),”Abbot Zino” (1991), “film director Bondarchuk” (1994),” The playwright V. Rozov” (1997), “People’s Artist of the USSR Yevgeny Matveyev” (1997), “Portrait of A. Yakulov” (1997), “Portrait of Tamara Kozyreva” (1997), “Portrait of Bishop Basil (Rodzyanko)” (1998), “The writer Arkady Weiner” (1999 ), “Portrait of mother”, “GH Popov” (1999), “After the Ball” (Natalia Bogdanova)” (2000).
As a portrait painter Alexander Shilov – a kind of mediator between man and time. He sensitively captures the psychological life of the image and creates not just a painting, and, penetrating into the recesses of the soul, reveals the destiny of man, captures a moment in which our real contemporary lives. A person is interesting to Shilov in all aspects of his individual existence: his characters are in joy and sorrow, in quiet meditation and waiting anxiously. On his canvases a lot of children’s and women’s images: clean, charming, soulful, beautiful. Respect and sympathy infused portraits of elderly people who have lived a long hard life, but retained the kindness and love to those around: “My grandmother” (1977), “Master of the Earth” (1979), “flower rosemary” (1980), “On the day of Arisha’s birth” (1981), “Together” (1981), “Colder” (1983), “Father Gabriel” (1984), “Soldier’s mother” (1985),” Portrait of a mother” (1988), “Mother Macaria” (1989), “Homeless” (1993), “Abandoned” (1998). The special softness, intimacy makes images of Shilov deep national.
All the paintings of Shilov have a deep meaning. There is nothing accidental, for the sake of the external effect. The expression of the human face, his posture, gesture, clothing, home furnishings in the picture, its flavor serve to create the image, the characterization of the hero, the transfer of his internal state. No big words can not convey that great skill, which Alexander Shilov has reached. The artist’s magic brush makes the eyes talk, the paint makes silk, velvet, fur, wood, gold, pearls look real.
In addition to oil paintings, the collection of the artist features paintings, executed in pastels. This is an ancient technique in which the artist paints with special crayons, rubbing his fingers. Perfectly mastered this complex technique, Alexander Shilov was a consummate master of pastels. No one since Lyotard has not reached such virtuosity.
The image on the canvas of Shilov “breathes” so authentic that the audience in front of pictures feel the laughing and crying, sadness and joy. These portraits is not only the work of a skill, but rather the heart, the mind, the soul of the artist.
Russia for Alexander Shilov is beautiful and loved. The motherland inspires the artist. The heart-felt images of nature in “Thaw” (1986), “February. Peredelkino” (1987), “October. Nikolina Gora” (1996). In the ordinary he is able to see the beauty. The artist is interested in the different states of nature, which echoes with the state of a man – joy, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, despair, confusion, enlightenment and hope.
Alexander Shilov graduated from the Surikov Moscow Art Institute in 1973. In three years he became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. In 1985 he became People’s Artist of the USSR. Since 2001 Alexander Shilov is a full member of Russian Academy of Arts. In 1996 he donated to the Russian Government 365 portraits painted by him.