The Outstanding Story of Leonid Afremov's Life

Written by Leonid Afremov |
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The paintings of the outstanding Belarusian artist Leonid Afremov were written in the best traditions of impressionism, however, they are an incomparable phenomenon of fine art. His works are renowned all over the world and are easily recognizable for their striking color accents that attract everyone's attention. In rainy landscapes, blurred silhouettes of people and objects, you can feel a certain freshness and naturalness. Even a cursory glance at Afremov's works immediately recognizes the handwriting of a master of his craft. 

Leonid Afremov

Leonid Arkadievich was born on July 12, 1955 in the city of Vitebsk into a Jewish family. After graduating from school, Afremov, not at all doubting his choice of profession, entered the Vitebsk Art School and graduated with honors in 1978. 

While still studying, Leonid Arkadyevich met his future wife Inessa Kagan, with whom they legalized a relationship a year after they met. In 1977, their first-born Dmitry was born. The second son Boris was born in 1984. 

Due to his Jewish roots, the artist very often had to face various problems related to work. He was forbidden to participate in all kinds of exhibitions at the state level, so he did not even have the opportunity to openly display and sell his paintings. 

Discrimination based on national characteristics, persecution by the local population, as well as the consequences of radioactive contamination associated with the terrible accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, made Afremov seriously think about moving. 

In 1990, during the relaxation in the political regime of the USSR, he decided to move with his family to Israel, the homeland of his ancestors. It was here that Afremov invented and perfected his unique technique to professionalism: the image of landscapes and portraits using an artistic knife - a palette knife. 

In his historical homeland, Leonid Afremov worked as a designer of an advertising agency, and also exhibited his paintings in galleries. However, here he again faced the problem of not accepting him as a citizen and a professional. On his own exhibitions, where his paintings were sold out with a bang, the owners of the galleries "recommended" him not to come, so as not to embarrass people. As an emigrant from the land of the Soviets, he was paid a mere penny at such exhibitions. Not relying on anyone except his own family, Afremov took up his own business of advertising and selling his paintings, which significantly improved his and his family's well-being. 

The artist was able to open his own gallery in 1995. Most of the same fellow immigrants visited it. 

Israel did not become Afremov's real home due to the prejudice of the Israelis towards him and his work. Certain local religious groups, called Orthodox Jews, did not at all hide their hostility towards the free-thinking artist. Although Afremov spent twelve long years on the promised land, the destruction of his workshop was the last straw. 

In 2002, the Afremov family moved to the United States. It was in the New World that Leonid Afremov was able to live and create without regard to the national oppression of society, from which he had to emigrate from Belarus and Israel. Over time, the website appeared, through which people get acquainted with the work of Leonid Afremov and acquire originals and reproductions of his paintings to this day. 

After 2010 Afremov moved to Mexico, where he organized a workshop and even recruited students. The great master died at the age of 65 on August 19, 2019. 

Leonid Afremov in his works was inspired by life itself, its charms, exuberant colors. Only after moving overseas did a calm life come to him, the opportunity to create freely. Here he found his place and universal recognition. 

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Author: Leonid Afremov
Leonid Afremov ®(born 12 July 1955 in Vitebsk, Belarus - Died August 19th 2019 , Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico) is a Russian–Israeli modern impressionistic artist who works mainly with a palette knife and oils.
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