About - Mark Tochilkin


markMark Tochilkin was born in 1958 in the town Dnepropetrovsk, currently situated in the Ukraine; Mark Tochilkin carries a dual nationality of Israeli and Ukrainian.
From 1973 to 1977 he received his formal art training at the Dnepropetrovsk Institute of Art.
After his studies, Tochilkin experienced a wave of artistic success and even joined the Soviet’s Artist Society in 1988. After immigrating in the 1990’s to Israel, Tochilkin’s popularity grew; he now participates in many shows, art institutions, and galleries, both in Israel and abroad. He has achieved particularly great success in the United States where his works are displayed on a regular basis.
Mark Tochilkin is one of the most interesting artists of our time and an acclaimed master of modern Israeli paintings, lives in this multilevel, complex and vigorous world. Tochilkin’s swift ascent is an extraordinary and highly unusual phenomenon which has rocked the art world over the past few years.
One of the defining characteristics of Tochilkin’s work is the outstanding technique and solid professionalism found in his painting, plastic art, drawing and composition. The artist’s traditional training at prestigious art schools has not smothered his spontaneity, but rather has allowed him free rein to release his ingenuity and to give his creative impulse unchecked license to innovate and explore. Also worthy of note is the artist’s devotion to figurative art. Although this art form still preserves its largely inexhaustible creative potential, many of today’s painters unfortunately eschew portrait painting and drawing the human figure.
Tochilkin successfully manages to distance himself from the modern and post-modern trends which substitute speculative conceptions and outrageous performances for genuine art-making. Tochilkin remains true to the basics of aesthetic criteria which are fundamental to the very existence of art. A natural integrity lying behind the artist’s deep-rooted connection with contemporary life is finely balanced with his creative and selective approach to world classics. This he manages to accomplish while guarding against fruitless retrospection and bland, derivative stylization of his subjects.
Another aspect of Tochilkin’s work is its emotional and straightforward content. It is impossible to reduce his oeuvre to being simply topical, formal or motivated by a hidden or unknown agenda. His work also addresses the intellectual viewer, well-versed in pictorial metaphors of association and, while grotesque at times, these nevertheless express the beauty of the surrounding world.
Overall, his works reveal a strong and ironic sense of humor. The painter distances himself from straight illustration and realistic painting, instead preferring subjects which are frankly abstract and imaginary. Tochilkin views his art as a game in which the viewer is free to accept (or reject) the “rules of the game”. The different facets of his work and personality expand rather than contract the many artistic planes in which the painter works. Tochilkin’s creations display both the bright lights and the hidden shadows of the human comedy, which takes its shape as an indissoluble totality.