Yulia Vladimirovna Mamontova (Zabrodina) is a contemporary Russian artist. She was born in 1980 in the Republic of Komi, RSFSR.
Yulia Mamontova is the great-granddaughter of the Russian merchant Vasily Mamontov, who continued the family business of the XVIII-XIX centuries in trade and delivery of goods from England to Arkhangelsk and the Urals on the Mezen river. She took the family name for a pseudonym, inspired by the history of her family.
Lives and works in Moscow, Russia.
- Member of the International Encaustic Artists (IEA)
- Member of The Eurasian Art Union (EAU)
An artist Yulia Mamontova in her works combines the best traditions of the classical Russian school of painting, Western techniques and conceptual presentation and she works in two directions: classical oil painting and decorative-applied art “encaustic” (an ancient method of painting with hot beeswax with pigments).
The study of the traditions and arts of different countries, the love of history and the continuous search for new images give the artist the opportunity to study life in all its forms and transfer this experience to others, reflecting it in her paintings. The ability to notice details and be open to the world allows the artist to transfer the most subtle nuances of the atmosphere to the canvas, therefore both abstract and realistic paintings by Yulia Mamontova fill the viewer with a sincere love of life. They also inspire to get acquainted with the origins and history. It is just one of the main themes of Yulia’s work – the revival of cultures and art from different eras, the popularization of forgotten knowledge.
In 2004, Yulia Mamontova received a diploma from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) from the faculty of International Economic Relations with honors, but found her true path in art:
- In 2019 she graduated from Moscow State Academic Art Institute named after V.I. Surikov (Moscow, Russia)
- In 2019 she completed the refresher course “Encaustic” at the Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, USA)
- In 2015, she studied at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London, UK)
Yulia Mamontova’s works have been exhibited at Rev. Jorge A. Sardiñas Gallery in St. Thomas University’s (Miami Gardens, Florida, USA), The Museum of the Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia (Moscow), The State Fashion Museum (Gostiny Dvor, Moscow), The Gustav Mahler Museum (Jihlava, Czech Republic) and many other venues in Russia and abroad. The paintings are also in private collections in Russia, Greece, the United States, and Saudi Arabia.
- 2020, November – 2021, February. The exhibition “The World through the Eyes of the Artist”, Jorge A. Sardiñas Gallery in St. Thomas University’s (Miami Gardens, Florida, USA)
- 2020, August – September. The exhibition «Floral myths of Hellas», Russian Art Museum (Moscow, Russia)
- 2019, November. «Arts & Crafts Show» exhibition-fair, Huntington Beach (California, USA)
- 2020, August. Personal charity exhibition «Honey Spas». 22, Tverskaya Street (Moscow, Russia)
- 2015, Personal exhibition «Vernissage. Birth of a masterpiece». Gallery-Workshop “MARGO” (Moscow, Russia)
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
- 2020, July. International Encaustic Artists – The first international juried exhibition in digital magazine format «Vignettes in Wax and Words».
- 2020, July. Artbox. Project Zurich 2.0
- 2020, June – October. The first Russia-based International online exhibition&competition «Encaustic.Today»
- 2020, May. Contemporary Art Gallery Online. Art Exhibition & Competition «ALL PLANET EARTH THEME»
- 2020, May. The exhibition “My immortal regiment”, The Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum (Moscow, Russia)
- 2020, April. International exhibition&competition «Golden Time Talent United Kingdom Award 2020», the first place in the category «Painting»
- 2020, March. Art fair of objects of author’s art. Exhibition hall of the Union of Abstract Artists of Russia (Moscow, Russia)
- 2020, February. Art exhibition “Memory”. «Listok» State Gallery (Moscow, Russia)
- 2020, February. International exhibition and competition of contemporary art “Czech Art Weeks. Century of realism”, The third place in genre painting/oil. Gustav Mahler Museum (Jihlava, Czech Republic)
- 2020, January. The exhibition “Century of the Manor”. Cultural and exhibition complex of the manor “Znamenskoe-Gubaylovo” (Krasnogorsk, Russia)
- 2019, December. International competition, exhibition and fair of contemporary art “Talent of Russia”, The first place in the competition «Painting». Architecture. Gostiny Dvor (Moscow, Russia)
- 2019, December. Cine Magic, Art Emporium Gallery (Miami, USA)
- 2019, November. 8th Moscow international Biennale of Contemporary Art, #Butfly project. Central Exhibition Hall«Fashion Museum», Gostiny Dvor (Moscow, Russia)
- 2019, November. International exhibition and competition Italian Art Week 2019. The II place. Palazzo Capitaniale (Sicily, Italy)
- 2019, October. «Particle of the Earth» exhibition, Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, USA)
- 2019, June. Art Week in Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- 2018, November. VI ArtFestival «The World through the eyes of students from MGIMO» (Moscow, Russia)
- 2018, April. All-Russian festival of poetry and arts «Art poetry». The II place. Exhibition center of The Moscow Academic Lyceum of Fine Arts at the Russian Academy of Arts (MAHL RAKH) (Moscow, Russia)
- 2017, May. Art Week Slovenia (Slovenia)
- 2017, June. Basel / The Artbox.Projects 1.0 (Basel, Switzerland)
- 2017, XXII International exhibition and competition of contemporary art Russian Art Week. The first place in the international competition of avant-garde art in the category «Futurism».
- 2017, International exhibition and competition of portrait art «Art Portrait Club International Festival». The III place in the international competition of decorative and applied arts.
- 2016, V Art Exhibition «The World through the eyes of students from MGIMO» (Moscow, Russia)
- Artist of the year in the International Art & Business Awards 2019 by Women’s Time magazine
- The first place in the international exhibition-competition «Talent of Russia 2019» / Painting. Architecture, 2019, Gostiny Dvor (Moscow, Russia)
- Winner of the II degree in the category of decorative and applied arts in the «Russian art award 2019», Gostiny Dvor (Moscow, Russia)
- The first place in the International exhibition-competition «Festival of Abstraction»/Encaustic, 2018. Central House of Artists, Kuznetsky most (Moscow, Russia)
- The first place in the XXII International exhibition-competition “Russian Art Week 2017” / avantgarde art / Futurism, 2017. Central House of Artists, Kuznetsky most (Moscow, Russia)
A special place in the creative biography of Yulia Mamontova is occupied by charity. The artist holds individual exhibitions and participates in charity projects in support of those who need help:
- 2020, Master class on non-traditional technique «Encaustic» for children of an orphanage (Vladimir region, Russia)
- 2019, Charity exhibition within the framework of the fair «Arts & Crafts Show». All proceeds from the sale of paintings were donated to orphaned children from a tribe in Peru (Huntington beach, USA)
- 2019, Personal charity exhibition of encaustic «Honey spas». Fundraising for the operation of screenwriter Egor Kondratev together with the Gosha Kutsenko Foundation «Life with cerebral palsy» (Moscow, Russia)
- 2016, Charity auction as a part of the evening of pianist Yuriy Rozum. The proceeds from the sale of the painting were transferred to the Yuriy Rozum International Charitable Foundation for comprehensive support of musically gifted children (Moscow, Russia)
Perhaps, It may sound a little corny and naive, but my main goal in art and in life is to change the world for the better. And I do it my own special way.
In my works, I show how important history and traditions are for the contemporary world and its transformation. I successfully use both classical methods and materials of painting (oil paints, canvases), and non-traditional ones – multilayering, collage techniques, wax paints and even hot tools, thanks to which I create textured surfaces on a variety of bases – from wood to metal.
One of the main themes of my work is the revival of the lost. The source of this motif is the history of my family. My ancestors once fought for the development and preservation of Russian culture. It was the study of archives and information about that time that led me to think about the phenomenon of the Renaissance.
It is impossible to plunge into this question without studying history. History is a cyclical process in which periods of decline are replaced by periods of recovery. This science has a significant influence on my work and the study of traditions and cultures of different countries inspires me to create new works.
The history of individual States, cities, generations and the entire world in general includes periods of decline and formation. In my works, I convey this theme, for example, through the prism of architecture, which always reflects its era, but doesn’t always retain its original appearance and often undergoes changes to be reborn in a new incarnation.
The theme of cyclical history is also reflected in the techniques that I am interested in. Creating my paintings, I restore forgotten knowledge, popularize ancient painting techniques, such as encaustic painting and painting on metals.
Studying history and origins, understanding their influence and role are important topics in many areas, including painting.
I see my global mission as promoting the revival of cultures and art from different eras. A successful combination of contemporary and ancient techniques, their harmonious synthesis is my way to change the world for the better. I’m sure this mission is possible.
How would you describe yourself and your work? And what does a typical day look like for?
Yulia: My whole life was filled with a love of art, but only in adulthood, I began to engage in creativity professionally.
Since childhood, I painted with pleasure, at the school lessons teachers noted that I was the best. Then, on the medical recommendations, my parents sent me to the swimming section. Sports successes began: a school with training twice a day; further – a candidate for master of sports. It was not possible to devote a lot of time to painting, but I did not abandon it.
Largely thanks to sports discipline, I am determined to always achieve goals even in creativity. The desire to be the first, original, to reach unknown peaks in the visual arts is still from there.
My decision to professionally engage in painting was also influenced by the history of my family – my great-grandfather, the merchant Vasily Mamontov developed Russian culture.
As for the process itself, I can say that almost all the images for my paintings are formed by sudden inspiration – it is worth closing your eyes, and an idea is born. Then I take a notebook, record what I saw or, if there are colored materials, immediately make a sketch. The first picture gives the start of the collection, then thoughts come for the next works of this series.
The main rule is to paint only in a good mood, put on favorite music, and leave everyday thoughts, it helps to fill the picture with positive energy.
You say your artistic goal is to revive the ancient techniques and to preserve them for new generations. When did you realize that this is your passion, and do you think you are contributing by adding your original touch, If yes how?
Yulia: My ancestors fought for the development and preservation of Russian culture. I studied archives and read information, that led me to think about the phenomenon of rebirth.
Studying history and art, I wondered why many painting techniques are undeservedly forgotten. For example, the technique of painting with hot wax – encaustic. After all, precisely in this technique in the 2nd century AD were created the famous Fayum portraits of Ancient Greece, which have been perfectly preserved to this day.
However, in Russia, only a few people know about encaustics, even among professionals. Therefore, I defined my mission as popularizing encaustics among Russian painters and art connoisseurs.
I began to conduct the author’s program “Revival of Encaustics in Russia” on the YouTube channel, conduct free masterclasses. I am also proud to note that this year I organized the first international online exhibition-competition in Russia # EncausticToday, which attracted artists from all over the world. I really want everyone in our country to know about encaustics and right now I’m looking for associates.
Well, I have the original features of my art. I am developing a special application technique so that from afar encaustic paintings look like oil paintings, by the way near their incredible texture opens.
In addition, I restored an ancient paint recipe, and now I am looking for an investor to start production.
I want to clarify: it is very important to produce the paints correctly. The melting point of professional wax paints according to ancient technology should be 100 – 110 ℃, while the melting point of ordinary wax is only 60 – 70℃, and this indicator is characteristic of all store brands. In the hot climate of California, I was faced with the fact that the picture in the living room under the rays of the scorching sun lost its firmness. It really upset and strained me, it was impossible to allow this to happen to my work in the buyer’s house! I delved into the process, and as a result, now I produce high-quality wax paint for myself. Now I am fully confident in the safety of my work. And I want to share it with other artists.
What motivates you as an artist? Is it curiosity, the search for beauty or meaning? And is there a message you are trying to give with your art?
Yulia: It may be a little naive, but the main motivation is to change the world for the better. This is available to everyone. I do it in my way. I try to carry this idea through all my creativity, I try to show the diversity of this idea through various techniques: encaustics, author’s technique ὀρείχαλκος (painting on brass), and traditional – oil on canvas.
In my works, I show how important history and tradition are for the modern world and its transformation. I successfully use classical painting methods (oil paints) on surfaces of different basics: canvas, wood, and metal.
The changing times, the history of individual states, cities, generations, and the whole world include periods of decline and formation, beauty, and outrage. These sciences have a significant impact on my work and visiting picturesque places, studying the traditions and cultures of different countries inspires the creation of new artworks.
Tell me more about your “The World through the Eyes of the Artist”.
Yulia: Now, due to the pandemic, it is difficult to move freely around the world as before. But even in these conditions, exhibitions do not stop.
Now you can get acquainted with the collection of my paintings “The World through the Eyes of the Artist” in Rev. Jorge A. Sardiñas Gallery, located at the Museum of St. Thomas University in Miami, USA.
The solo exhibition as part of the Across the Ocean art project opened on November 19 and will last until February 22, 2021.
The project “The World through the Eyes of the Artist” was curated by international Art Curator, Daria Rusakova, who has created the concepts for more than 100 art projects and organized more than 60 exhibitions, art residencies and art symposiums for emerging Russian artists all over the world.
And what about my artworks? Following the traditions of old masters – such as Sebastiano del Piombo, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and Veronese – works from the series “The World through the Eyes of the Artist” are made in the author’s Orihalk technique – oil on brass in a modern way.
The shine of metal in combination with the texture of the brushstroke does not allow the eye to divide the space into the first, second and third planes, but turns the image into a mirage.
Brass is a progressive anticorrosive metal, an alloy of copper and zinc. It is no coincidence that brass is used in shipbuilding. The material is resistant to oxidative processes in water, under atmospheric effects, and even in some acid compositions. Using brass sheets as the basis for the picture, it is possible to completely eliminate corrosion and deformation of the product in the future. In fact, this is art for centuries.
But there is another undeniable advantage of brass, for which I loved it very much. The metal base creates special overflows, thanks to which the paintings are literally filled with heat and light. The shine of the picture is especially noticeable when sunlight hits it.
What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Yulia: Creativity always gives me only pleasure, and when I am already in the process, difficulties do not arise. But now is a difficult time, isolation – schools, and kindergartens do not work. Because of this, there is not enough time to implement the planned creative tasks. I am the mother of two boys and I am happy to spend time with them, but the creative process hangs because it requires privacy. I hope the pandemic ends soon.
How has your work developed since you began and how would you see it evolving in the future?
Yulia: If you make efforts, you will be successful. To get the target, do not give up. Since I discovered the artist in myself, I have been developing, watching colleagues in the workshop, studying art history, participating in exhibitions in Russia and around the world.
I can say that everything goes according to my plan. I set myself tasks and strive to fulfill them. One of these tasks is to be represented in eminent international online galleries. And I’m on my way to that goal. Recently my paintings began to be sold at the galleries such as ARTSY and SaatchiArt. I continue to develop new horizons.
Share some interesting facts about your art with us.
Yulia: My paintings and I have several honorary awards. The painting “Blue Lagoon” in the technique oil on brass took 1st place in the International Exhibition-Competition “Golden Time Talent/United Kingdom Award.”
Also, I became the Artist of the Year at the International Art & Business Awards 2019 according to Women’s Time magazine and took 1st place in the International Exhibition-Competition “Talent of Russia 2019” in Moscow.
Also, I participated in Russian and international charity projects in support of those who need help. For example, in 2019 I took part in a charity exhibition in the Arts & Crafts Show fair in the United States. All funds from the sale were transferred for orphans from the tribe in Peru.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Yulia: Recently, one of my encaustic abstractions found its new master. While painting the river, I put a thought about cash flow and wealth. I informed the buyer about this, and what was my surprise when, after a while, he wrote to me that his financial well-being had improved. I was pleasantly surprised because I do not conduct any magic rituals, just paint in a good mood.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Yulia: Constantly communicate with the audience and expand it – participate in online and offline exhibitions, attend events dedicated to art. And also to work on strengthening a personal brand – be open, develop professional skills. Use all the possibilities of communication – social networks, YouTube channel, live broadcasts, personal masterclasses. Talk about yourself through the media and organize collaborations with bloggers. All this in the complex will bring results. The main thing is not to stop and not to be discouraged if something does not work out. Sure to work out. А journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
What’s next for you?
Yulia: I will continue developing encaustics in Russia with all my might. I hope the pandemic will not prevent me from organizing an offline exhibition of encaustics next year, where everyone can see the beauty of the texture and the colors of encaustic painting.
In early April in Moscow, I will take part in the ART RUSSIA Contemporary Art Fair (https://artrussiafair.com). This is not only a large number of exhibition halls with works by modern Russian and foreign masters but also the International Art Forum with a rich educational program on the topics of art and art business. I look forward to this event to share my creative ideas and communicate with professionals in the field of art.