Andrey Neganov was born in Murom in 1967. When he was twelve he saw an advertisement for a children’s art school. Andrey and his friend had a bet over who would be accepted and Andrey won. Teachers at the art school highlighted Andrey’s work and recommended that he continue with his studies. Upon graduating from the eighth grade, Neganov went to the Ivanovo Art School. It was a difficult place for him to study at, but, in the end, he received an excellent grade for his final project on the circus.
Andrey Neganov paints his pictures in a small flat that is full of canvases. His painting is simple in composition and subject matter, but is sophisticated and intricate in tones and colours. When we look at his standard-sized paintings, the objects may make us think of Kant’s ‘thing-in-itself’ doctrine. Truly, Neganov’s painting is profoundly introverted, as if deeply engaged in itself. One has to mediate in front of all of Neganov’s pictures, in the literary sense of meditation, in order to discern the meaning of the finest combinations of dark colours and deep tones.
Neganov’s manner may seem very deliberate, although the artist argues that he works intuitively without following any guiding concepts. The artist is not interested in rational artistic experiences. He used to practice work on collages and art objects, but every time he has returned to painting, the art form in which he feels most like the proverbial fish in water. Interestingly enough, he compares his pictures to deep waters as something inaccessible to the human eye.
Nevertheless, his painting touches deeply. When you peer into it carefully, you start to remember something forgotten long time ago. His portraits of things such as padlocks and even vises reproduce childhood memories, when everything seemed so big and different. The painted portraits of the old have a different effect on our memories. The elderly ladies at sewing machines and elderly men with accordions conjure up the past and remind us of those who passed away.
Neganov doesn’t strive to entertain or please the viewer with his paintings. He is one of the contemporary artists who has proven he has the ability to paint to narrate serious things and touch today’s audience.