Wallpaper of the Week: Leonid Afremov

March 13, 2009

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FROM JASON’S DESKTOP — Usually my wallpaper selection strays toward geek culture, but sometimes sheer force of atmosphere is what’s needed. And that’s what Belarusian painter Leonid Afremov provides.

Afremov’s gallery is replete with hundreds of heavily-oiled canvases, all sharing an affinity for C├ęzanne-ish clashes of warm-on-cool color combinations.

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The 53-year-old, a graduate of the Vitebsk Art School, emigrated from Russia to Israel and now lives in Florida. He uses a palette knife-heavy technique that gives his works a thick and textured quality with large, raised edges that pop off the monitor.

It’s easy to see how those Mediterranean-cum-western-Atlantic influences have shaped his works; Afremov’s oil paintings are decked with Spanish and Romanesque architecture, glowing electric light and a permanent, golden autumnal theme.

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The result — in my younger eyes — is very collegiate, like an eternal first semester on campus. There’s a certain romance to the intimate enclosures of deciduous trees and paving stones and umbrellas, with the paths covered by what looks a recent warm rain.

His paintings remind me of the season I met my wife, and the nights we walked under the broad leaves talking. That’s probably 90 percent of my attraction to Afremov’s work.

At any rate, his paintings make excellent desktops, providing your monitor isn’t huge. I was able to eke several worthy 1024×768 backgrounds from the downloadable content on his deviantART page, and there’s many more to be had if you want to take the effort to clean them up and size them in Photoshop.

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