An Interview with Diana Malivani

1 April 2019

Our artist Diana Malivani from Cyprus talks about her work.

Please describe your artwork style

Let me quote the Critique “Diana Malivani. Cirtical Analysis” by Mr. Timothy Warrington, Art Critic and member of the International Confederation of Art Critics (ICAC):

Diana Malivani passionately conveys her effervescent personality through each graceful touch of paint to canvas and her use of texture manifests itself as a creative haven upon which she symbolically cultivates organic pastures that possess the ability to simultaneously induce calm and empower the viewer. Drawing upon inspirations from a vast array of artistic sources, Malivani proposes a semblance of modernity to the traditional themes to which she gravitates”.

What’s your background ?

By my training and profession, I’m a physician-scientist, i.e., a Doctor of Medicine, and holder of a double degree, M.D.-Ph.D. I’m also a self-taught artist, as well as the author and illustrator of children’s books published in Russian, English, French, and German.

How long have you been an artist ?

My creative path as an artist began at birth: I was born on the shores of the Black Sea, awash in the profusion of colors of the Caucasus. I remember that, since childhood, I was attracted to what was beautiful, and paintings evoked my particular interest.

Who or what are your biggest influences ?

Let me quote again the Critique by Mr. Timothy Warrington:

- “… her aesthetic is clearly influenced by the Impressionists, diverse movements ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to Abstract Expressionism can be detected from her involute opuses...”

- “… the Impressionistic approach to classical concepts is a delight to observe and, upon close analyses, an element of Expressionism can be detected in the luxurious use of her medium...”

- “… Malivani’s deep affinity to nature is also shared with the Pre-Raphaelites...”

- “… much of Malivani’s work has firm roots in Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century art...”

- “… her nuanced fusion of style masterfully reflects the movement of the cantering horses and the powerful tides of the sea by invoking references to Édouard Manet, Rosa Bonheur and Eugène Delacroix...”

- “… the artist contrives strong links to Edgar Degas’ works in oil...”

- “… her use of shape, form and colour as a form of expression solidifies conceptual ties with Wassily Kandinsky and Gerhard Richter while her use of line is reminiscent of Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian...”

How have you developed your career ?

I’m represented by well-known galleries in the USA and UK. My artworks regularly appear in prestigious exhibitions and compete in art contests in several countries, are published in international art journals, offered for sale on leading online art market places (notably, on ARTSY), and listed in the database of ARTPRICE, the world leader in art market information.

Which current art world trends are you following ?

I am happy to realize that there are far more opportunities for people in the contemporary world, even compared to relatively recently, to come into contact with art in some form or another. And this is extremely important, since it is art, and painting in particular, that forms our brains from a medical-biological point of view (we are talking about the establishment of neurogenic, neuro-sensory connections), and also affects our souls, making Man an inspired being.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society ?

For me, painting is an incredibly fascinating and interesting world. We live not only in a world of objects, a world of things surrounding us; we live, above all, in a world of thoughts, in a world of ideas. Art is always an opportunity to experience the unprecedented, to go back in time, to replay and redo things anew. A painting is an experience of what did not happen, or of what could have happened. Art is a self-developing phenomenon, the most complex mechanism ever created by mankind, a mechanism through which we find ourselves. The power of painting lies in the fact that it gives us choices when life does not. One viewpoint considers contemporary art to be dangerous. But painting is not a school book or a moral guide. In our time, the time of freedom of choice and tolerance, people are free to choose the kind of world they want around them. For me, painting is a special form of thinking that begets life. Painting is a living organism possessing energy and emotions. When creating a picture, a new story is created, to be read by the viewer (the viewer is co-author), and each person will have his or her own story. A picture by the hand of an artist (not a printout on canvas, not the work of a computer) is not autonomous in itself. It all depends on who is looking at the picture, and the neurochemical processes occurring in the brain in the particular case (I say this as a physician). This is “first person experience”, or “it seems to me that ...”. The evaluation of a picture occurs at the level of sensory perception; feelings that cannot be described in words arise somewhere deep in the subconscious. A person either perceives and accepts a work of art on some powerful level or rejects it, finds it alien; simply speaking, does not understand it.

Where do you create your work ?

After many years spent in Russia and France, I now live with my family in Limassol, in Cyprus. I usually work in my home artist’s studio with a panoramic view on the Mediterranean Sea.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed ?

For me, the most important in the creative process is finding beauty in everyday life. A painter looks at the world with “fresh eyes”, like a child seeing something for the first time. This allows me to see what others do not notice, and to draw familiar objects in a special way. The artist can see, feel, and think in a special way, and the task of the artist is to bring a small part of his or her world to the viewer. In this sense, it might be said that the artistic process is always the same.

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas ?

Painting is my special world, bringing me joy, satisfaction, and happiness. For me it is important, above all, to live in harmony with myself, because a part of the artist’s soul remains in each painting created. Each work reflects the artist’s attitude to life, to nature, to everything in his or her surroundings.

What project are you working on now ?

This is an abstract Art Project which bears the name “The Blue Butterfly’s Dream”. This Art Project could be briefly conceptualized as follows. For me, feminine soul represents an inexhaustible source of inspiration. One of the most difficult goals of artists depicting the moods of the woman's heart on canvas is to convey their force, depth, and meaning in abstract compositions.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions ?

My abstract artworks, part of the Art Project “Seeing Music”, are currently exhibited on ARTSY, with ACS Gallery, Chicago, USA. With a bit of luck, I hope to participate in London Art Biennale 2019 (22-26 May).

See more of Diana's work at:

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