Critically analyses artwork: (TheTwirl by Leonid) Essay Example



Leonid Afremov born to Jewish parents on 12 July 1955 at Vitebsk, Belarus which was formerly the USSR can be described as a Russian, Israeli artist who is a modern impressionistic working by majorly using oils and a palette knife. It is important to note that Leonid Afremov was born in the town that Marc Chagall was born in; later Marc Chagall would be an important role model of Afremov. Presently, Afremov lives in the town Playa del Carmen in Mexico, next to Cancun.He is involved in painting flowers, landscape, portraits, flowers, city scenes and seascapes. We could describe Afremov’s as politically neutral and colourful. Afremov operates in a politically natural environment with art that does not have any hidden political agenda. He struggled for artistic freedom and created his unique styles but of course his early works is an influence from older painters.

Critically analyses artwork: (TheTwirl by Leonid)

Afremov uses a unique technique in his art, for his painting, he only uses a palette knife, oil and canvas to achieve an extraordinary art piece. He creatively uses rich colours on his oil paintings for create an illusion of elegant autumnal cities. In my opinion, there is no artist that compares to Afremov in terms of using a lot of colours in paintings. He is able to create vivid scenes with watery reflections. He uses thick strokes which can be described as mosaic in nature and with a cultural image (Jarvis, 2004).

The life of Afremov in Israel was hostile as he was a Russian immigrant therefore he started using bright colours perhaps to bring hope to his paintings which were often vandalised. Another influence to his work was the fact that he had moved from Russian’s gloom weather to the sun bathing in Israel that he soaked his work in vibrant light and bright sun. One of the artists that are also thought to have influenced his work is Van Gogh who like Afremov used the pointillist element. Again Afremov borrowed the use of the palette knife from Charles Hawthorne who used it for making strokes. It is also important to note that his general style of painting has influence from other artist like Monet, Malevitch, Marc Chagall and Renoir (Oestricher, 2015). From my study and careful analysis of various art work by Leomid Afromov , I would like to comment that much as his work is an influence from other artists, Afremov has succeeded in making the borrowed techniques his own technique.

I notice a very interesting nexus between Afremov’s concepts and what he actually puts into practise in his art. Firstly, Afremov works on the principle of a self- presenting artist and in actual practise, we see him not getting involved in exhibitions and art galleries that is common to most artists. Instead he markets and sells his work exclusively in the internet. Secondly, Afremov does art that is non-political in nature and this is reflected in his work which is politically neutral and is never offensive. In addition, he presents his work in a straightforward way without any hidden message. However, I would like to note that once or twice Afremov has created political paintings for example one depicting bulls fighting. Thirdly, his art work most of the times work on the concept of reflecting personal memories and emotion and in practise, his work evokes the viewer’s feelings rather than tell a story. He writes to make the viewer have a certain feeling and to see the world the way he sees it. Another concept prominent in Afremov’s art is positive art. In his paintings, he practises positivity through the use of very bright colours. Lastly, I feel that his love for animals especially cats which he has kept for years is also put into practise through his numerous paintings of dogs, giraffes, cats, horses and tigers.

The painting “The Twirl” by Leonid Afremov is an art piece that was done in 2001. For this painting the artist used oil only on a canvas paper to bring out the picture of a ballet dancer who is in performance (Beth, 2004). The painting is done in bright colours perhaps to describe the mood of the dancer. The feet of the dancer gives an illusion of splashing into water. I believe this is symbolic of flexibility and ease with which the dancer moves. The dress is painted in such a manner as to indicate the cultural typical ballet dancing dress- flimsy and easily carried off by the wind. Even though we are not able to see the dancer’s face, the use of dark colours around the dancer’s face gives a clue to the seriousness on the face of the dancer as she makes her moves. In my opinion, this is one of the great pieces produced by Afremov.

There are quite a number of theories of art that each artist work is based on. The chosen design, “The Twirl can be explained by some of these theories. Mimetic theory states that art is usually a representation of nature. From the painting we see elements of nature such as water and wind as the dancer moves her body in a dancing motion. The second theory applicable to the painting is the expressive theory that states that art is a representation of the inner state of the artist. From the painting, we see seriousness and commitment of the dancer which definitely tells us the inner state of the artist at that particular time that he was creating the art (Wilkins &Davies, 2017).

Afremov’s work is almost perfect except for one critic. I would like to point out that the use of many colours in his work brings about a monotony of Afremov’s work. You can almost predict what his next work would look like.

To conclude, I think Afremov is one of the greatest artists in modern world. As an artist he has positively contributed to the world of art and he continues to remain a relevant and significant. It is important to note that today his work is used in psychological counselling as they have been found to be therapeutic. His use of the pallet knife remains unique and moreover, he uses the pallet knife to create original and unique paintings because the pallet knife cannot be used to produce the same effect a second time. Afremov employs total professionalism in his work no wonder he does not produce political pieces. I also applaud him for his positive paintings as their positivity brings peace of mind to individuals and by extension heal the whole world.


Beth, E. (2004) Palette Knife Painting by Leonid Afremov. Sage

Jarvis, M. (2004). The Importance of Painting in Pedagogic Practice. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 23(3), 316-325. doi:10.1111/j.1476-8070.2004.00410.x

Oestricher, A. (2015). Art as a Roadmap to Healing. Fairfield County Business Journal, 51(35), 16.

Wilkin, K., & Davies, C. (2017). Painting After Post-Modernism. New Criterion, 35(7), 41-46.

Corporate Author. (2015) Leonid Afremov (Art Masters) Paperback – Import, Kipepeo Publishing