In the course of his 50 years distinguished career, Mr. Blumin has created linocuts, woodcuts, miniature metal sculptures, pastels, encaustics, temperas, paper and fabric collages, watercolors, drawings and oil tracings, metal and wood sculptures, computer graphics and videos widely displayed on Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Wordpress. He also widely employs mixed media for his collages, sculptures, and reliefs; however, the artist’s main medium has been oil.
Over the years Mr. Blumin has achieved truly extraordinary results in developing a completely unique style. This style is based on his diverse artistic and cultural interests and incorporates a variety of artistic traditions from prehistoric cave painting through the multiplicity of artistic developments to the contemporary synthetic idiom. The equilibrium between abstract whole and representational parts is the main component of Mr. Blumin’s idiom. It transcends reality into inseparable, symbolic amalgamations which embrace the most important art trends of today. The artist’s superb education, magnified by his multifaceted talent, plays an important role in his understanding of how reality should be interpreted at the present time. He is convinced that the remarkable cultural tapestry of the past provides a physiological matrix and creates a foundation layer to be coated by multiple new layers of a contemporary master’s personal associations and individual concepts.
Through his distinctive synthetic vision Mr. Blumin expresses complex modern psychological and intellectual archetype, which becomes even more apparent, if one reads his statement regarding the mission of contemporary art: “Contemporary artists symbolize small particles of a borderless spiritual domain; still they do contribute to the total growth of this domain, to the intellectual field of humanity, which has been developing itself through human history as well as through multiple varieties of schools. It is astonishing to think that contemporary artists have an opportunity to contribute to this field, to accept and, at the same time, to bequeath to the future the artistic relay started with the Neolithic cave drawings and developed further through the early mosaics; through Egyptian encaustics and Pompeian frescos; the tomb stone carvers of the Dark Ages and beloved monk’s lovely miniatures; grand hopes of Renaissance giants and clarity of De la Tour and Vermeer; El Greco’s insanity and Rembrandt’s grief for Saskia; the gallant world of 18th century and the courtyards produced by Corout—the abstract elements of which were later developed by Monticelli, Sezanne, and by the many artists of the 20th century.”
Sergei Blumin was born in St. Petersburg. He belonged to certain intellectual circle of the post-Stalin era, as his distinguished contemporaries, Joseph Brodsky and Sergei Dovlatov. All three share an ironic vision, characteristic to that circle. This explains why Mr. Blumin’s graphic images look so organic on Mr. Dovlatov’s book covers published in New York, and why the synthetic complexity of his works are naturally associated with complex images of Mr. Brodsky’s poetry.
One of the most fascinating facts of Mr. Blumin’s biography is that by education he is a professional musician. In 1965 he entered the Moscow Conservatory, and in 1970 graduated with honors from the Leningrad Conservatory, as a professional trumpet player. After graduating he played the trumpet for twenty years with various music companies, including the Chamber Orchestra of Old and Contemporary Music, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater. His musical career includes thirty solo recitals (the last one—in Florence, with the Chamber Orchestra of Tuscany in 1979), and creative collaborations with such renowned conductors as Eugine Mravinsky, Karl Eliazberg, Mariss Jansens, Vakhtang Jordania and others.
Mr. Blumin pursued his interest in art throughout his musical career. In 1974 he became a member of the Youth Section of the Union of Artists. From 1974 to 1978, he took part in numerous art exhibitions throughout the former Soviet Union, including a solo show at the Summer Garden Rossi Pavilion in St. Petersburg. In 1978 Mr. Blumin emigrated from the Soviet Union, and for a year and a half lived in Vienna and, later, in Florence, where he exhibited his artwork on a regular basis. In 1979 he settled in New York, and has lived and worked there ever since. His oil paintings have been the subject of nine solo exhibitions in Italy, Austria, France, and the United States. He has also participated in numerous group art shows and his works are now included in the collections of The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, The State Historical Museum in Moscow, The Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, and Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.
© Written by Yelena Yasen, 2006 <www.yelenayasen.wordpress.com>