2010 Kamiyama Artist in Residence participant
Ilgvars Zalans was born in 1962 in the Republic of Latvia. He graduated from the Riga Applied Art College in 1987 and in 1992 he graduated from the Latvian Academy of Arts. He has had a number of solo exhibitions in Spain, Italy, Estonia, Denmark, Russia,China and Latvia and, since 2001, is a member of the Artists Union of Latvia. His works are held in several collections including Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko collection, The Artists Union of Latvia and Ukraine, , LATVIA. Zalans’ artworks project a style that is both innovative and progressive; here is a showman, a live performance artist, whose methodology gives a nod to artists like Pollock. However, he has developed a style that is very much his own, he travels the world and performs action art in public places. Zalans documents cultural facts by trailing and dripping paint, using his body as an artist’s brush; his feet, hands and toes poetically squelch vibrant and colourful paints and elegantly dance and skate across the virgin canvas. He is performing to the public with an almost balletic movement. This artist has won a multitude of awards and has undertaken many public commissions across Europe, Middle and Fare East. Constantly changing and evolving his methods, Zalans is an exciting and charismatic artist; a narrator who skilfully performs his artworks across the world with spontaneity and a zest for life. (2010)
(→Ilgvars Zalans Website)
"Zalans. He came into the eyesight of the wide circle of international collectors and art-lovers after his world-wide tour of action-painting – 25 minutes long performances, staged in 33 countries around the Globe, on the streets, in halls, museums, galleries, river banks and any other places one can only think of.
His passion for colour, vigorously poured on canvas with a joy of a 15 year-old, for an external spectator can even look excessively spontaneous and playful. However, the artworks of Zalans are always the result of his rigorous “eye-thinking”, hard work and thorough study of everything generations of artists did before him. His works discover the sensitivity for colour one can hardly overestimate.
Being born in a tiny town of Latvia, he was brought to painting solely by his intuition and destiny – none would ever think he could make it with “just being an artist”. Spending years and years in torturous attempt to fit in, one day he realized the inevitable – for him to paint means to live.
Ilgvars Zalans creates lush, vibrant pieces that are at once unsettling for their mashed up textures as they are awkwardly beautiful. Of his art, he says: ‘I focus on images and motifs that are fundamental, archetypal, and universal in human experience, as opposed to those that are socially determined’.
Any object, creature or place, which Zalans takes as a topic of the new work, becomes a puzzle piece in the discovered picture of his world – full of life, joy and love itself. "