By lgor Dudinsky

Loosing his or her integrity is the biggest threat that a contemporary artist faces in his work. Some of them by trying to avoid reproaches with being too fashion oriented turn arteficially sophisticated, unreasonably scholastic and falsely significant. The other extremity is an attempt to be good for everybody. Those who fallow the second line produce infantile, middling pieces of what they often try to pass for naive art. To Vladimir Portyanoy's credit, he managed to avoid by-passes and to keep the right for unlimited artistic and spiritual freedom. That is why he is sophisticated and easy to understand at the same time which could be true only with a real artist. The secret of his method rests with his Slavic understanding of the World depicted with the means of contemporary European painting, of which he selected the most loose and expressive (Picasso is not by chance his favourit artist). It means he hono- rably continues what was started at the turn of the century by the best of his countrymen, those who, as members of "Russian artistic landing forces" have engrafted a spicy bud upon the cul ture of Western Modernism, fragrant with mortal splendour. It could seem strange if he wouldn't address the Bible-it became the foundation of the World Classics, but only in Russia the attitudes towards the Holy Scriptures was marked with a special, almost ecstatic thrill. It were Russian artists who placed the prototypes of the ancient Christian stories in a plain lzba-a Russian peasant house and without lavish details in a philisophical way they coupled the signs and images of the distant magic Orient with scanty simplistic averyday life of people eager for romantic ideals. Vladimir Portyanoy has learned how to use the energy of magic codes and symbols, but he never shies away from pure peasant aesthetics and decore. He uses falk motives as the only means to help reestablish the fundamental harmony, to gain back the perfection, to find the way out of the abyss we got in having betrayed the higher. Holy orientation, which still exist in the spheres of "na tional", "Ethnic". Whatever is the topic of creative exercises of the artist (and the area of his unsatis fied trials is quite substantial), the essence of every single effort of his, - inflaming and persistent - his passion was to restore the Holy Heavenly as well as human Cosmos. His every single painting or a series is a new attempt by the artist to fill in the gap of spiritlessness, to win a foreground in a truely Apocalyptical struggle for a new and changed World.