A PASSION FOR GEMS
As a boy, Ilya was facinated by the discovery of a piece of amber lying on the beach of the Baltic Sea. "Within that stone" he said, "I saw a moment frozen in time for millions of years." It was a life-changing experience. "From that moment on, I wanted to know what mysteries lay hidden in the hearts of every stone". Thus began his lifelong obsession with stones. Wherever he went, Ilya collected seashells, gems and even ordinary rocks to break apart and examine.
His fascination for gems grew as Ilya matured - so did his gem and mineral collection. He became a dental surgeon, but the love for the stones eventually ignited an artistic passion. Coming home from work, Ilya would experiment with stones from his collection by gluing them into small compositions on wood, canvas, and paper. Tweezers, dental pics, hooks, probes, and scalpels were all employed in his adept hands to manipulate the tiny fragments. Soon Ilya began creating works on a larger scale and the house became crowded with gem paintings. Wherever Ilya went, he studied nature. With the aid of a photographic memory he was able to depict in vivid color his unique interpretation of nature's gifts.
The Lines of Destiny
24kt. gold, ruby, abalone, sunstone, emerald, granite, tourmaline, rhodonite, garnet, carnelian, agate, pinakolite, jasper, topaz - 30" x 30" / 2003
THE STRENGTH OF STONES
" The stones are my friends. They are in my dreams... From childhood I have tried to understand what is hidden in the heart of the stone - not only their colors but also their natural forces."
For centuries, stones have been used for their healing properties. Today, for example, ruby lasers are used to treat skin conditions. Ayurvedic tradition, the traditional holistic medicinal system in India, maintains that gemstone jewelry properly worn can have positive effects over all aspects of a person's life. Quartz is an essential stone for spiritual healers on many continents and is believed to stimulate the imune system and treat problems with the organs
The hidden qualities of the gems are part of the artist's purposes. Ilya feels a special relationship of love and trust with the stones. "The stones absorb the illness of the people and activate the process of recovery... My paintings are items of luxury because they carry artistic beauty, health, and education as well as a sense of nature's abundant power."
The Lines of Destiny (fragment)