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Vladimir Zabavskiy. Russian/American Artist, born 1968

Vladimir Zabavskiy’s oil and gold leaf paintings are created in a rich color palette coupled with crackling and layered effects. Three-dimensional quality images of his landscapes, portraits and abstractions may be obtained by using polarized 3D glasses.

Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Portrait, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Happy Fish, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Happy Fish, 2016
oil and gold leaf, 24 x 30"
Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Heavenly Jerusalem, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Heavenly Jerusalem, 2013
oil and concrete, 43 x 36"
Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Mid-Manhattan, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Mid-Manhattan, 2013
oil and concrete, 42 x 35"
Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Observer, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Observer, 2016
oil and gold leaf, 27 x 23"
Vladimir Zabavski, Artist, Cabin in Shenandoah, artline
Vladimir Zabavskiy
Cabin in Shenandoah, 2017
oil and gold leaf, 30 x 24"

Artist Statement

My artistic process is like writing in a diary, things or events that are important to me at the time are documented. First, I sketch. Then I prepare a canvas before adding up to ten layers of paint. As I paint, I experiment with pigments and textures until I'm satisfied with the result. In the end, it’s important not to overdo the artwork but instead leave it somewhat unfinished.
- Vladimir Zabavskiy



Zabavskiy began drawing when he was in kindergarten but his fascination increased when he was older and able to draw humans and animals. His parents always encouraged him, especially his mother who worked at a film studio in Moscow. It was here that he became familiar with the cinematic arts. His grandfather, Arkadiy Zabavskiy, a student of Kazimir Malevich at Kiev Art Institute in the 1930s introduced him to his personal library. His vast collection of books contained visual information that, to the Soviet Union, was controversial and unwelcome at the time, much of it to do with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, as well as German and American Expressionists art. It was eye opening to Vladimir and he was hooked.

When he was young, music also had a huge impact on his artistic perspective. It helped him to discover happiness in a rather gray world. When he discovered classical artists like Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Stockhausen, he felt intense joy. Pop rock artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and the Rolling Stones also created strong feelings of delight. His appreciation of the arts widened.

In 1995 Zabavskiy joined Young & Rubicam, a major global advertising agency as Art Director. He traveled the world with the company and learned about emerging computer technologies. He met and was influenced by American artists and photographers, Peter Beard and Robert Whitman. Zabavskiy and began thinking about moving to America. In 2001 he landed a job with a software company in Herndon VA, he and his wife moved to the USA. While waiting for his green card he studied art at the Torpedo Factory. Today he is an American citizen and Senior Graphic Designer at the Building Museum.


born 1968 Moscow, Russia

2004-07 Art League School, Alexandria, VA
1985-89 Moscow Pedagogical University, Russia
1975-85 privately with Arcadiy Zabavskiy (grandfather)

public collections
National Building Museum, Washington DC




Artist Website

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