Andrei Protsouk

Paris Night by Andrei Protsouk
Voluptuous Venice by Andrei Protsouk
Red Red Wine (Small) by Andrei Protsouk
Red Red Wine (Large) by Andrei Protsouk
Birds Of Paradise by Andrei Protsouk
Manhattan by Andrei Protsouk
Naked Grape (Small) by Andrei Protsouk
Naked Grape (Large) by Andrei Protsouk
Low Ride by Andrei Protsouk
Avenue Of The Hearts by Andrei Protsouk
Preferring to refer to himself as a contemporary figurative artist, Andrei Protsouk has been in the art business for over two decades now, and has personally overseen the invention and manufacturing of over 7,000 works of art to date. And in his case, it is very much an in-house business that covers every angle and almost eradicates the need for a middle man. The Mr 20%. It’s fair to say that Protsouk has something of a monopoly on himself and his art, in as much as whilst being solely responsible for the origination and creation of his own individual compositions and collections, he also operates his own website as well as having his own self publishing division as such. It’s almost a case of Protsouk PLC for all intents and purpose.

Born in 1961 in Donetsk, Ukraine, Protsouk was a mere 3-years of age when he was first introduced to art, courtesy of his parents who themselves were both artists. Schooled at the Donetsk Public School, Protsouk went on to study art in Donetsk Art School where he gained an art diploma before gaining a place at and attending the Lugansk State School of Fine Art, from where he graduated in 1981. Not content with this, Protsouk opted to further his art education and after a gap of a number of years he graduated from Repin Art Academy in St. Petersburg in 1990 with the Red Diploma and Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

Protsouk put down roots in St. Petersburg and advanced his artistic knowledge and comprehension of the more traditional applications associated with various forms of art by restoring and copying the working techniques indicative of the Old Masters, whilst employed at the city’s Hermitage Museum. Here he learned all about his favoured medium of oil paint, and moreover how it was applied to linen as a surface area, an element that crops up with frequency in both gold and silver leaf in his own future pieces, founded on a revered traditional Russian iconographers’ principle.

To most people’s minds, the steely grey of an unbendingly industrious Ukrainian city like Donetsk is more likely to throw up championship boxers and other regimented, disciplined sportspeople, rather than contemporary artists, and therefore the outlet and implied marketplace for Protsouk’s intended vocation would be limited to say the least. Which probably explains why the budding artist moved his then young family to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, United States in 1994 to better place himself within the market and in terms of the perceived demographic of his potential client base. Despite the diverse spectrum of the industrial, monotone skies and architecture of Donetsk being at considerable odds with the far more decadent and liberated land of the free, Protsouk found America hospitable, if not slightly strange on first impressions.

“It was like surfing....like riding the waves of the post-glasnost era. I wasn’t prepared for such a friendly welcome from Americans eager for the humble works of a poor Russian artist,” says Andre, with a trace of irony in his expression, maybe. Two decades on from emigrating, selected connections to his past remain. Today Protsouk still uses remnants from the original paints that made the journey with him from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, whilst his often very personal subject matter dwells on the intimacies of relationships. To paraphrase the artist, the lion’s share of Protsouk’s work is basically about love.

Protsouk’s Andrei Art Gallery flung open its doors for business in Stroudsburg in 1997, and then after eight years moved to its present location. His studio/gallery’s well-considered postcode ensures that he’s in striking distance of the key conurbation – and therein prosperous catchment areas – of New York City and Boston, and stresses that the bulk of his art tends to find new homes with seasoned art collectors and investors in these cities, as well as Los Angeles and further a field. Protsouk’s business model and therein, living-making relies heavily on modern technology, that not only keeps him abreast of industry events but more importantly provides a visual lifeline between himself and potential clients. Every bit as much as his ideas, concepts, inspirations from a metaphysical side as well as the more tangible brushes, paints and canvases. With this in mind, Protsouk’s laptop is never far from sight in his studio. Acknowledging that the internet is every bit an artist’s window on the world, Protsouk monitors and updates his own website daily. And it definitely proves worthwhile, as he claims to average 8,000 unique hits a month.

Protsouk admits it was always his dream to have his own studio and gallery, something he doesn’t feel that his native Ukraine could offer him in retrospect, yet an aspiration that was suddenly achievable in America. However having both provides a sometimes challenging balancing act, which requires the living of an almost double life to enable both to fully function and meet their objectives and targets. The Andrei Art Gallery in Stroudsburg doesn’t simply showcase Protsouk’s latest collections; instead his gallery space represents established and emerging artists from the former Soviet Union including Eugeni Gordiets, Alexandra Nichita, Yuri Gorbachev, Elena Zolotnitsky, Noi Volkov, Dmitri Strizhov, and Konstantin Chmutin.

Running the rule over the body of his work since settling in America, it’s clear to see that both traditional and new influences are conveyed in Protsouk’s compositions, with the latter being toyed with via some of his almost comedic visual references to American symbolism. Female football players, jazz musicians, svelte dancers, archly sophisticated diners in evening dress, sexy billiard players, even beachgoers are given new meanings and arranged into intersecting planes and fractured mosaics of sensuality and power, as Protsouk adds his structured dimensions to a well-trodden path. Although love appears to seemingly conquer all in Protsouk’s pictorial estimation, identifying and going on to present love as an opposition of emotions, a collusion of appetites, impulses and sensations. An ancient theme and undercurrent of sexual tension and power invades the eternal struggle between men and women and is colourfully dramatic and playful in many of Protsouk’s compositions.

Having exhibited his art around the world, including Germany and Holland as well as Russia, Ukraine and across America, a raft of Protsouk’s compositions are found as part of private and corporate collections, including the following; Aurora Publishing House; Academy of Art in New York City; Barcelona Museum of Art, Spain; Coca-Cola in Denmark; Italian Art and White Knights of Venice, Italy; Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Museum of Art Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia; Johnny Walker Expo Co, England; Francais Lang Art, Hamburg Germany; Art Connections, Zurich, Switzerland; Gallerie Adrienne, San Francisco, CA, USA; La Jolla, Artrageous Gallery, New York City, NY, Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Vera Gallery, Aphine, Greece.

View All Art Works By Andrei Protsouk