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Paintings based on graphic poetry

About author's technique of VIRZHI



Dear Guest!


There were many publications published about graphic poetry pictures and virtual painting by Vasily Smelyanskiy in Russian media and many TV programs and documentaries were shown. More than two hundred of his paintings are stored in private, public and corporate collections.


You can get acquainted with some publications and pictures on our website, some of them are posted in Galleries sections.


Thank you for your attention.



Free Russian Master Vasily SMELYANSKIY



Natalia Leontieva

Based on interview with V.S.

February, 2001



RUSSIA 2000: THE ROBE OF POWER, Vasily SMELYANSKIY, Graphic poetry composition 

Graphic poetry composition

RUSSIA 2000: THE ROBE OF POWERversion 01

(size 630 x 910 mm)

created by Vasily SMELYANSKIY,

Free Russian Master,

using the unique technique of virzhi

(stands for “virtual painting”).

December 1999 – October 2010

(the version is based on the author's art work

of the same name of 1999)

One of the recent telecasts of a local announcement has been devoted to the artist Vasily Smelyanskiy, who now works in Chelyabinsk. The keynote of the TV program was an unusual picture of the President of Russia, which was the main character. The popularity of this picture has spread outside of South Ural where it was written a long time ago.


Certainly, the picture of Vladimir Putin created by Vasily Smelyanskiy is not traditional. There is no official image with the concentrated face and smart vestments which are habitual for this genre. There is nothing common from those portraits of leaders with the walls of any establishments during the former times were decorated. There is the young man in the picture with the sphinx smile, dressed in a bit of strange attire reminding either chain armor, or kimono or vestments of Asian lords who examines virtual spheres, seeing something that is hidden from what is uninitiated. The President, whose eyes are of blue color in life, has dark eyes in the picture, which gives depth to his sight. His hands are covered by an element of another picture where skeletons of ancient fortresses and the people who bear roods are clearly visible. Ruin... Barbarity... The apostles, who cannot find any peace, go in the background by hardly an appreciable chain. Russia 2000: The Robe of Power is the name of the picture. The attire of the President brings all of these small fragments together. With each increase, it is visible that each fragment is just the same figure in a miniature. At once, the pose casts thoughts about martial arts when the weakened body instantly would seem turn to a monolith of solid muscles. Poems of the Master are entered in the picture:


…all depends on the inner eye —

   on the own profound vision:

   on your standpoint upon the course of things

   on the bell tower from which you sing your note

   on the unison in which you recognize your roving essence...








/ some thoughts about Vasily Smelyanskiy /




Senior lecturer

Department of History and Art Theory of Chelyabinsk State University

May, 2000




Sheets for V. Smelyanskiy and A. Startsev exhibition in Chelyabinsk Sports Palace, July 2000. Setup, design by V. Smelyanskiy 

7 graphic sheets complete set

for V. Smelyanskiy and A. Startsev exhibition

in Chelyabinsk Sports Palace,

July 2000. Setup,

design by V. Smelyanskiy

Deep rivers are not measured by stick. We plumb. The result of the first measurement is a paradox. The paradox is as a method. "Everything is not so" is the principle.


You need to deceive guards in order to cross the state border. To cross the border of the understandable, it is necessary to deceive usual logic. Smelyanskiy acts so: in the graphic poetry texts and in "graphic poetry with the use of virtual painting”, as he names them.


Everyone knows that the topic "genius and eternity” is as vast as the Sahara, and deep as the Mariana Trench. Smelyanskiy put it in the “Drama Force Majeure ", where two characters pronounce exactly six words (including prepositions and interjections).


Everyone knows that the President knows hand-to-hand fighting techniques. Smelyansky puts "a man very similar to the President" in the appropriate attire - whether a kimono, or armor, or robe . But they are woven from his own self-images.


Everyone knows that the Calvary is either one cross or three, and Smelyansky has two.


Of course, any metaphor is paradox at least a little. But when a man who is poor in spirit cries in one of the poems by Smelyanskiy : "someone! pay me to man! " - this is probably more than a metaphorical paradox.


The rule is that any idea under certain conditions, becomes absurd. It looks like Vasily goes by the opposite way: he creates conditions for the absurd which make it into a thought.