Vladimir Muhin was born in Kazakhstan in the eastern frontier of the former Soviet Union in 1971. His parents were both accomplished ballet dancers belonging to the National Theater of Kazakhstan. At the center of Kazakhstan’s vibrant artistic community, Vladimir’s parents hosted many dinners at their home where often passionate and sometimes volatile discussions of art would erupt. It was in this environment that Vladimir’s artistic interest began to emerge.
When his sketches and drawings gained the notice of local art teachers Vladimir was enrolled in a Kazakhstan art school at the age of 12. His talents were obvious and soon he was invited to the prestigious Penza art school in Penza, Russia where he was enrolled for five years. After a mandatory two year stint in the army (where much of his time was spent painting portraits of military officers) Vladimir applied and was accepted into the famed Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow.
Here, the finest artists throughout the country shared their skills, insights and philosophy on art with the students. Great Russian artists like Ilya Repin, Nicolai Fechin and Valentin Serov were studied with scrutiny and provided great inspiration to the developing artist. It was a rich period of growth for Vladimir and a time in which he would refine his artistic voice and perspective.
Vladimir had always been attracted to figurative work. He says, “There is so much nuance and subtlety within the human form. How does one capture this? How does one capture the essence and character of a person? An artist must have more inside him than technical skills to succeed. I think figurative and portraiture can be the ultimate challenge for an artist.”
The 1980’s were a turbulent political time in Russia as Soviet Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev pushed his Glasnost policies through a reluctant Communist parliament. The success he achieved culminating in the demolition of the Berlin Wall in East Germany led to new freedoms in Russian society that had been absent for decades. Russian artists now had more freedom to travel outside of the country and gain exposure to foreign artists and cultures. The subject matter of what Russian artists could and could not paint was no longer scrutinized by the State. This led to a Renaissance of Russian art as Russian artists could now apply their unparalleled skills to an endless array of new subject matters and inspirations.
During this time Vladimir traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States and felt an immediate bond with the people, culture and freedoms he found in America. In 2005 Vladimir began his first collaboration with an art gallery in Carmel, California. The response to his bold and confident figurative work was immediate and spawned a growing number of collectors and premier art galleries collecting and carrying his works.
He attributes the strength of his recent collections to his ability to always keep inspired. He believes “an artist absorbs the sounds, smells and sights around him. In this organic process an artist transfers these senses into colors and his brush strokes reveal the charm, vivacity, tenderness and depth of an artist’s feeling. It is the very process of creation.”
Vladimir Muhin is a member of:
The Union of Russian Artists
International Art Foundation
The International Association of Fine Arts
International Academy of Creative Endeavors
Oil Painters of America