Art Critics about the Artist:
"Paintings by Dmitry Kustanovich catch one's eye due to a special technique, a painting manner that is easy to recognize. Much attention is paid to the surface of the painting and the picture plane itself that are crucial for picture space formation: butterflies move swiftly “along” the canvas, flowers create a vivid quivering surface, city landscapes represent street perspectives and layouts based on a parallel - perpendicular permanent correlation to a picture plane. A layout type and a special solution for the surface create a unique dynamics of Kustanovich paintings.
It's here that classical art and modern culture meet, images and styles of various epochs are evoked. Here one can find traits of romanticism, impressionism, cubism, primitivism, conceptual art and others. This very mixture and wealth of associations are characteristic to the contemporary art created by the artist. Today he's in the heart of the world art culture”.
"An artist with a distinctive creative individual style, he came into the world of art in 1999. A musical education helps the author to percept all nature phenomena at a subtle intuitive level which adds a compositional rhythm to his works and music to his palette. The author has found his own style and a palette knife technique, which makes a painting three-dimensional, multilayer and polyphonic. At present he's living and working in St.Petersburg where he has won a recognition and respect of art lovers. In his Motherland, in Minsk, he holds a traditional annual exhibition devoted to his father".
“…An important detail of the artist's biography is, among others, his not being a “product” of present-day means of gaining fame and recognition. Talented and hard-working, the artist intentionally refused to go that way. Surprising as it may seem, Kustanovich “has himself made his way”, or rather he was not doing anything special, he was just working. He didn't seek any support from state authorities, associations, funds, sponsors etc.
For young artists who try to find their own way in art he is an example of a person whose honest and sincere work has brought him success and recognition. People are tired of “squares”, “blurs”, “concepts” that are in most cases serve just to deceive them. The audience's sensual and emotional sides respond to the real, the honest, the pure…”
"We've recently discovered a very interesting, absolutely outstanding artist who has resounded throughout Petersburg. He's got his own style. We thought everything had already been invented, and suddenly, look, there's a man with his own style. And his style is not something like a “black square”, but something that is understood by the audience. That's really amazing. His name is Dima Kustanovich. Nowadays he's also the most popular from the commercial side. He has invented a new stroke manner creating “oil graphics”. In any case, I personally have never seen such a technique in the painting history. So he's sure to figure in history just for that”. Georgy Nikolayevich Mikhaylov, founder and owner of the Fund of Free Russian Contemporary Art, in his interview to the Radio ”Svoboda” (Radio ”Liberty”).
“The artist's creative work is in the focus of a close attention. Paintings by Kustanovich attract the audience due to his unique technique, original painting style and completely different view of the world. Speaking about modern viewpoints, trends, fashions one can say that the artist stands by himself. A sort of “loner”, “come-lately”, he attracts, year by year, more and more attention causing, meanwhile, numerous debates. His style is recognizable. He's one of the world most sought-after modern artists. His paintings are being bought for artistic purposes by collectors and amateurs, and also for investment purposes. He's one of the few artists who, in spite of being a point of many disputes, has gained tremendous recognition and love of the audience”.
"Kustanovich loudly made himself known at the St.Petersburg's art market. Surprising as it may seem, he hadn't sought to do that. There was neither a tough art concept nor a rigid marketing strategy. His works spoke for him. Artists, gallery-keepers and plain art-lovers understood at once that his painting is strong in its form, is deep in its contents and deserves a separate place in a row of the existing creative initiatives. A phenomenon of Kustanovich is not a one-day wonder. It's for a long time.
What's the reason for such a success? First of all, it's the artist's personality, his striving for eradication of the artificiality, falsity by all means available to him including art. His city and sea landscapes, diverse forest images, butterflies and flowers are not just transient impressions caught on a canvas. They do not copy life, but affirm it. Kustanovich is being permanently and emotionally experiencing his existence. He catches the slightest half-tints of feelings embodying them in a kaleidoscope of lines and color relationships. Such approach can be classified as a “well-arranged chaos” equally inevitable and necessary while showing the strength and diversity of inner emotional experience. The most significant role in this process is played by a specific dimensional texture of a painting that the artist creates with a palette knife. He's not so much painting as sculpting his images creating them from “plaster” colorful layer. His palette is straight on the canvas. As a result, every element of the painting becomes inspired with natural energy of light that is carrying joy, hope and good.
What really impresses is a melody of Kustanovich works having routes in the artist's biography. Initially he wanted to devote himself to music but never managed to. However, the correlation between sounds and colors remained strong. While playing he never stopped mentally painting and while creating a painting the artists keeps on following the tunes of his soul. His urge towards polyphony, a well-developed sense of rhythm help him to reach a dynamic harmony within a painting.
By skillfully varying the elements of various styles – romanticism, impressionism, expressionism etc, Dmitry Kustanovich intentionally rejects the charlatanism of imposed artistic ideologies. He is not afraid of being “plain”. «Think with your heart» - the artist likes to repeat and this is what makes the basis of his creative work.”
Yelena Prilashkevich, Candidate of Art History Sciences, Member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
«It was not art that created love, but art recognized love. Art is the probing of life, admiration for the purpose of learning.”
Viktor Shklovsky “Tales about Prose”
Looking at the works of Dmitry Kustanovich one wants to listen to his feelings. A simple silent contemplation – and you see how the classical art meets the modern culture. First comes just an impression, then a try to understand what the genre is. On my opinion, we should not limit the artist's paintings by the frames of a single style. Romanticism, impressionism, avant-garde – a mixture of them is characteristic to the creative work of the young artist who has already won love and recognition of the audience.
These works are not keeping silence, they suggest a dialogue and during this dialogue our imagination gives us a feeling that the author's message and our perception are a single point. It seems that we see a rainy Petersburg just like that, and as children we used to see butterflies just like that: so bright and as if they are sliding over the canvas. This seeming easiness is reached due to a combination of the artist's delicate taste and the technique that is special, full of feelings and emotions.
The author's texture paintings are easy to recognize. Once you've seen them you'll immediately single them out of the other artists' painting on a similar subject. Even admirers of a realistic style will have to admit that the author's landscapes convey the state of nature so truly that one feels as if he himself is standing in the mist or is coming into a sunlit city.
A special workmanship of the surface forms a specific dynamics of the paintings. Dimensional, multi-sound, multi-layer – that's how the author's style can be called, and also lyrical and musical.
Being one of the most popular modern artists Dmitry is an example of how one can reach success and recognition by working honestly. The fact that today his works are being bought by both amateurs and collectors is a vivid proof of that. Irina Belova, Art Director of the “Mohovaya, 18” Gallery.
Expression, temper, high energy – perhaps, these are the first emotions and impressions we feel meeting art works by Dmitry Kustanovich.
His paintings are the original life rhythm, recorded in painting algorithm, reflection of elusive moments of everyday life caught by the deft stroke of the artist. Depicted on canvas they create the pulsating alive world and it seems that in a moment we'll hear the engine roar or wings swish of a butterfly flying by. Painting of Kustanovich is an attempt to visualize the music of the world that surrounds us, it speaks to the audience in active dialogue involving it in its reality.
Artist's visual language consists of echoes of impressionism, expressionism, primitive art traditions and at the same time is extremely individual and unique – in spite of expressive emotional content the art work space is developing according to clear geometric structure stressed by strong strokes of palette knife, all together creating a special effect of “pictorial graphics”. Author is intently studying the surrounding present-day reality trying to reflect in his works invisible rhythms of nature, which we can feel in his landscapes depicting nature and city sights. Artist focuses his special attention on canvas surface, the texture of art work. He seems to sculpt the single multidimensional organic space existing according to its own laws and which is infinitely alluring. Galina Vladimirova, gallery art critic.
Artist Dmitry Kustanovich
Hats off, gentlemen! There’s a genius in front of you.
Schumann about Chopin.
There’s appeared an artist in St. Petersburg who is different from the others and attracted a lot of attention. A few amateurs have already bought his paintings and admire them in their houses. A wider audience also can see his works at fairs in the Manege and the Smoly Cathedral, at Christmas Fairs, at his parlor and other galleries. Internet gives a good opportunity to get acquainted with him.
The name of this artist is Dmitry Kustanovich. What is so attractive about him? First of all, it’s his style of painting. He paints not with a brush, but with a palette knife, a narrow steel plate, thus creating both generous wide dabs and narrow strokes. At the Smolny Cathedral the audience watched with fascination him improvising while his son Alexander was playing the piano. In half an hour a painting was ready, a wild combination of colored blurs that made a lively street full of people and cars. All his paintings are a harmony of colors that echoes in people’s hearts. The artists take various topics but are fully recognizable in each of his works. Kustanovich’s wonderful forests are dense, wild, overgrown with bushes, grass and flowers and still full of air and soft color. The artist especially likes the time close to winter – the first snow, the first frost, a spring wind over the last snow. The paintings with a similar mood are those of village houses and buildings together with the trees in a soft light that radiate a vivid light themselves.
These works are a tribute to his beloved Belarus. City landscapes are splendid, they are inspired by an old St.Petersburg and especially its Petrograd side. Houses, people, cars and trams in a foggy and rainy atmosphere of the city are presented in relief and graphic and with a great love.
The series “Walks along the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment” is very interesting, it depicts wintering ships during different parts of the day. Here one is amazed by an impressionist wealth of light. However, his summer Crimean landscapes are also great, they create a mood of a joyful calmness: mountains, mountain roads and the sea full of vivid water.
Kustanovich’s butterflies are a separate genre. The canvases are full of happiness and sunlight.
Kustanovich’s flowers – sunflowers, asters, lupines, lilacs - are special. The artist also has a bright sense of humor. “The Crow and the Fox”, huge fish on the “Fisherman’s Dreams”, the Baby-Yozhki (Old Witches), the giraffe, the elephant, the piglets are amusing….
Watching the painting of Kustanovich we get into a unique world that strikes us with the wealth of colors gathered from the multitude of paints on every piece of canvas. This work is guided by the artist’s unique gift for color composition.
It’s a thankless task to describe the paintings. It’s like retelling the melody in words. My aim is to motivate the readers to see the works of the artist, which is easy to do due to Internet and exhibitions, and to form their own opinion. I’m happy to have enjoyed the variety and uniqueness of the paintings by Dmitry Kustanovich for five years. As a result, a phrase came to my mind, the one that Robert Schumann exclaimed when he heard the music of Frederic Chopin:
“Hats off, gentlemen! There’s a genius in front of you”.