Igor Kufayev

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Igor Kufayev
Igor Kufayev Wikipedia.jpg
Igor Kufayev (2017)
Born (1966-01-05) January 5, 1966 (age 57)
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Occupation(s)artist, spiritual teacher

Igor Anvar Kufayev /ˈkfəjɛv/ (Russian: И́горь Анва́р Kу́фаев, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ ɐnˈvar ˈkufəɪf]; born January 5, 1966), is a Russian British artist, yogi and spiritual teacher. Also known as 'Vamadeva' (Sanskrit), which means "preserving aspect of Shiva in his peaceful, graceful and poetic form".

Early years[edit]

Igor Kufayev was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He was classically trained in art and attended the private studio of the martial artist and painter Shamil Rakhimov. Kufayev was educated at the Art College in Tashkent, and then at the Theater and Art Institute's department of Mural painting. In 1988 he studied in the Academy of Arts (now Imperial Academy of Arts) in St Petersburg, Russia, and in his spare time studied and painted directly from masterpieces of western art in the Hermitage Museum.[citation needed]


Igor Kufayev, Kneeling figure, 1993, oil on canvas, 127x127 cm, London, Collection of Sir Elton John

In 1990 Kufayev moved to Warsaw, Poland. An encounter with the art critic Andrzej Matynia led to Kufayev's first solo exhibition, Eternal Compromise[1] at the Monetti Gallery, Warsaw. He was invited to take part in The Meeting of Sacred Images, at the National Museum of Ethnography in Warsaw, with his triptych Compromise alongside works by artists of earlier times.[2]

He moved to London in August 1991. In 1994 he held a one-man exhibition, entitled Burnt Earth.[3] Robin Dutt gave it a favourable review in The Independent.[4] From 1995 to 1997 he worked on a series of four tondos under the title Zauber.[5] In 2001, the art critic Brian Sewell described Kufayev as a "driven painter, scrupulous draughtsman, intellect and imagination wrestling with seemingly equal force".[6]

Spiritual teacher[edit]

Igor Kufayev leading a retreat at Gut Saunstorf, Germany, August 2017

In 1996 he began to practice Transcendental Meditation. In 2001 he claimed that he had a spiritual awakening. In October 2006, in an interview for the BBC Russian Service, Kufayev talked about his years as an artist and his decision to leave painting.[7]

Kufayev began teaching in 2002, becoming full time in February 2008. Since 2012 he has offered online webinars and in-person gatherings and retreats worldwide.[8][9] He calls his teaching "The Path of the Heart", meaning a non-intellectual and direct cognition.[10][11]

In 2021, he launched a 3-month online course in Kundalini yoga.[12][13]

Private life[edit]

Igor lives with his partner and three children in Mallorca. In 2006 he moved back to Tashkent for almost four years. He has a grown-up daughter who lives in Warsaw.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Eternal Compromise – title of the show igorkufayev.com Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Compromise triptych igorkufayev.com Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Burnt Earth – title of the show igorkufayev.com Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Dutt, Robin (1 July 1994). "Burnt offerings". The Independent.
  5. ^ "Zauber Series". Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  6. ^ Sewell, Brian (25 May 2001). ""Your Choice for the Turner Prize"". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Kufayev, Igor; Novgorodsev, Seva (21 October 2006). "Сева Новгородцев, Севаоборот – Igor Kufayev, interview for BBC Russian Service".
  8. ^ "Igor Kufayev Darshans".
  9. ^ "Igor Kufayev Events".
  10. ^ "Yoga Aktuell". No. 102. January 2017. p. 70. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  11. ^ "Spontaneous Yoga ~ Touched by Grace". Igor Kufayev.
  12. ^ "Kundalini: The Source of Ultimate Knowledge, Power & Joy". Igor Kufayev.
  13. ^ Kufayev, Igor (May 24, 2021). "Kundalini: Defining the Undefinable". Watkins Magazine.

External links[edit]