Artist Statement


My goal is to isolate the principles that have shaped my perception of the world around me, and use them, in the words of B. Pasternak, to reach to the very core” .  Following the traditions of the Russian academic school, my work relies on a firm footing in the figurative tradition and yet it is precisely this training that allows me to diverge from it. My work deals with exploring the correlation of a geographical and social solidity on a psychological instability, centering on the ideas of belonging to and exile from a home. Centering on such moments, in which the various strata of daily existence: financial, intellectual, personal, spiritual etc., intersect with each other and conflict, my work engages a predominant restlessness in human beings, that always finds the most diverse means of expression when limited by a geographical, national, religious, or familial certainty.

I believe in the exploration of a strictly visual emotive capability. Despite working with rigid and rational intent, it is fundamental that in the finished work, the sentient must take precedence. 




Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Iliya immigrated to the United States in the early 1990’s with his family. From a young age Iliya pursued training in the arts in the Russian academic tradition. He studied in LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Art and in the Bridgeview School of Fine Arts in New York under the tutelage of professors trained in the art academies of the former Soviet Union. Iliya studied in St. Petersburg, Russia in the prestigious I.E. Repin State Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from which he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting. In his paintings he aims to connect the Russian aesthetic with American sensibilities, creating images that go beyond their origins. He has been recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships and awards both in the United States and in Russia, winning the “First Place” award in the American Portrait Society’s International Portrait Competition. Iliya was recently selected to develop his design for a public monument for Iconbay Residences in Miami, Florida in collaboration with The Related Group architecture firm. Currently, Iliya resides in Brooklyn, New York.