Vladislav Kvartalnyj Biography
I was born in 1979 in BSSR in Minsk. My parents were living in the outskirts; there was a large park and an apple garden where I used to go for a walk when I was a little boy. The garden was very huge, neglected and overgrown. We have spent a lot of time there playing, and in August and in the early autumn we were gathering apples, pears and sweet cherries. Still when I come to see my parents, I like being there and recall my childhood. My father Vladislav Alyekseevich Kvartalnij was a teacher of fine art. He has instilled in me a love for drawing from the early childhood. Father has gathered a whole library about the great masters of fine arts; he was writing with watercolours, he was going to sketching. He graduated from the University of the fine arts in Vitebsk; he has known well and loved the school of fine arts in Vitebsk, which gave many artists. Along with the ordinary school, I went to the school of the fine arts, and then entered the Lyceum of the fine arts. I remember how my grandmother Anna Romanovna was happy when I visited her in the summer with a sketchbook, drawing albums and pencils. My grandmother has lived long time in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), she was signaller and a medical orderly during the siege of Leningrad in 1941-43. She remembered not the terrible days of the war, but the great Leningrad museums, exhibitions. She loved the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum. She supported very much my passion for the fine arts and encouraged me.
My father was the first teacher who made the main contribution into my artistic education. He was the one who laid the basis of composition, drawing, painting, which helped me in the development of creative ways. He also gave me an understanding of the great importance of self-education. The further way of development, I continued in the college of fine arts. In these years my training of graphics continued, under the guidance of the teacher Gregory Sitnitsa. Every one of us (the students) had a very interesting creative world; the conditions of our workshops favour our learning. We went to the studies, at exhibitions; we constantly had talks about the art, read and discussed the themes of lectures, dreamed and made plans for the future.
Then came the academy of the fine arts. When I decided to enter in the graphics department, I did not know that the etching would become my life. Of course, I had known about the existence of this technology, but only at the first time when felt the weight of an etching needle in my palm and drew the first line, I realized that I shall devote all my life to this art. Nothing was comparable with subtle elegance of these scratches left on a cold, clean and almost mirror metal, which had been gradually warmed by my hands and by the flight of my imagination, who had been imprinted by the movement of the fingers and by the etching. It was cold to the touch and all the same warm beauty that allowed me to leave my emotions, measure my feelings and save them into the time. Nothing was comparable with that. Paints and brushes did not give me an accurate responses pencil was too pliant and unsubstantial. Etching became for me the technique that I was looking for. Scratching, drawing a line, strewing aquatint and plowing the surface of the etching plate with the technique of mezzotint, I seemed to penetrate in a particular, completely different world. It is surprising, but this feeling have not exhausted until now. Each time I start working on a new ex-libris in etching, or when I continue, supplement and correct an etching plate, I feel joy, delight of the creator. My graphics teacher, Valery Petrovich Slauk, told me once that every graph has to create his own individual world reflected in his works. I think that is very well said.
In my student years already, due to the lack of workshop, I had to do works in a small size graphics. I made my studio and a workshop in a small room, where I was living at that time.
It turned out that an artist can express his ideas even in a small engravings none worse than on a big canvas (picture). I have met the ex-libris in the college of the fine arts, at the design lessons. Development of signs, symbols for people of different professions and interests was very interesting. I made (developed) my first ex-libris in etching at a first year of studying in the academy of the fine arts. It was in 2001. Years of study at the academy are associated with a trial of all of graphic techniques, materials, experiments on their combination. There was a search of the most expressive combinations. Due to the fact that I have mastered all the etching techniques, I have now the opportunity to use them in the creation of my works. My favourites are pictorial ex-librises with the plot in their composition. They are approaching a little illustration, a history. I like to develop my characters, their personalities, create a world on a small space of an etching plate. Ex-libris allows supplementing a visual line with a text, with literary inserts. The combination of the text and the image gives additional opportunities for the expression of ideas.
Ex-libris is a whole world, which allows to more devotees to have their collections due to small size and number of printed copies. I also gather a small collection of ex-librises as a graphic artist. I have always had a great interest to the potential of different techniques, of the different manners of different artists. That have led me to the participation in various international competitions of ex-libris and to the start of the collecting of bookplates. In addition, my successful participation in exhibitions and competitions have extremely support my aspiration for creativity. I have got my first award for ex-libris in Italy, in Albissola-Marina for a bookplate, dedicated to the patron Pope Julio II. As of today, I have 25 international awards for ex-librises. It certainly gives an incentive to self-cultivation, to the improvement of the technique and the plot.