VIKTOR SHVAIKO — It is true that Viktor Shvaiko paints beautiful pictures, and this fact alone would be sufficient explanation for this artist's appeal. However, it is apparent to even the most casual observer that Shvaiko's meticulously crafted paintings reach us at many more levels.
To what may we attribute the evocative nature of these works?
Undoubtedly, technique plays a part. Layer upon layer of color is applied from a palette both subtle and complex; glazes and varnishes infuse each image with sense of depth and luminosity. Both brush and palette knife are brought to bear. Viktor Shvaiko's years of formal training are evident, as are his confidence and intensity. But our fascination cannot be elicited through technique alone.
Perhaps it is the fact that in these charming cafe and street scenes, we find the perfect metaphor for romance. Who can resist the siren call of this most celebrated of human emotions, with its attendant feelings of excitement and warmth, anticipation and mystery?
The open doors, the narrow alleyways, beckon us in. There may be a glowing fire; drinks are poured. But as we peer inside, much remains obscured. The rest of what we see is reflection and imagination, and our imagination hastens to fill in the scene. Who is awaiting us inside this inviting place? Is it an old friend, a new romance? What lies just beyond our vision down this narrow street? The artist leaves these questions for us, and moves on to the next picture.
Although Viktor Shvaiko's newest paintings of elegant restaurant facades are unpopulated, they are imbued with a sense of human presence. He creates a poetic atmosphere with soft shadows on cobblestones and faint cracks on the wall that combine uniquely with the peaceful stillness he intends to portray.