Sophia Vaharis-Tsouvelekakis, 10 November 2018
“Dear Marta The portrait of my daughter, was frankly much better than what I expected. Even if you met Elya only for a week and she posed couple of hours every day, the result was as if you knew her since her birth. I know that with Portraits it is very difficult to achieve a result where both client and artist can be happy and you managed it extremely good! Thank you for a painting that we will cherish a lifetime !”
Edward Grey, New York 2012
“There is no greater talent an artist may have than to be able to ‘capture the essence of a moment.’ Marta Grigorieva does just that through her paintings. I commissioned Marta in 1998 to do a portrait of one of my beloved Borzoi. In fact, as a young artist, this portrait was Marta’s first commissioned work. Marta captured the essence of my Borzoi, from appearance to the ‘feel’ of his personality. And since then, I have seen her innate talent blossom in so many directions. I am honored to have not only one of Marta’s paintings, but in fact her first commissioned work.”
David Sturner, New York, October 2010
“Marta, when I first discovered your work it was by brochure and online viewing only but even then I knew I saw great talent and beauty. After seeing paintings framed and hung in my house, I am just so overwhelmed by how beautiful these pieces of art! I couldn’t have imagined a better center piece to my living and dining areas. Thank you so much for sharing these great artworks.”
Ham & High, Hampstead & Highgate Express, London 11 December 2008
Artist’s Work is Bee’s Knees
It is one thing for a celebrity to enjoy your art – but being invited to paint their nearest and dearest is a more impressive accolade.
Russian artist Marta Grigorieva is putting the finishing touches to a commissioned portrait of Robin John Gibb, son of the legendary Bee Gees leader Robin, after a chance meeting at a charity event hosted by Archant London in November 2007.
Marta donated a painting in aid of Help a London Child, and Robin Gibb was just one of the many celebrity guests who admired the work before it was auctioned off.
Then in May 2008, he was a surprise visitor to a new exhibition in Marylebone, where the artist was using sound and video alongside her paintings for the first time.
‘‘One of the songs I used, Spicks and Specks, is one of the Bee Gees’ earliest, so I think he really appreciated that,’‘ said Marta.
The invitation to paint Robin’s son RJ soon followed, adding to an impressive list of commissions for the Harvard Fine Arts graduate, who trained in New York under leading portraitist Nelson Shanks.
Marta has also had work commissioned for US senator Edward Kennedy. She is keen to take on other oil-on-canvas commissions, which range in price from £3,000 to £10,000.
‘‘There’s something very attractive and also very challenging about being invited to paint a child’s portrait and to capture and preserve that special moment in time, before they grow up and change,’‘ said Marta.
Ms Grigorieva is also a strong supporter of childrens’ charities and last week she donated a painting to St Paul’s School Children’s Charity bursary fund.
Press Release: London April 2008
Trained as an Impressionist portrait painter, Marta has developed a new style of portraiture, in which by depicting a subject with a few subtle nuances she dramatises a scene in simple form; and one definitely recognizes the individual.
Focusing on the core characteristics, and highlighting the key personal attributes, Marta’s paintings explore the essential identifying dimensions of the subject.
Her short film set to the music of the Bee Gees, illustrates the technique of Marta’s painting, from inception through to completion. Colour, light, movement and sound, combine the artistic elements which complement each other, and set to the songs of the Bee Gees to point out the grander aspects of life.
Marta’s original work continues to expand the world of figurative painting, in which personality and character are heightened by her exceptional use of colour and light.
Raised in St Petersburg, Marta studied Fine Arts in Boston and New York.
Besides being owned by Senator Edward Kennedy and vice-chairman, Philip Byrne of UBS London, Marta’s paintings are held in private collections throughout theUSA, the UK and Europe.
Marta’s paintings have been featured in numerous publications, including The Mail on Sunday; Ham & High; London Info (Russian Edition); The Docklands; Il Correire del Monviso (Italy)
Very Very European Russian Magazine, London 31 July 2008
Paintings Across Borders
Marta Grigorieva is a Russian portrait painter who grew up in St Petersburg before moving to America to work for Christie’s, New York, completed a graduate course in Fine Arts at Harvard, and studied under her mentor, the leading American portrait painter Nelson Shanks.
VV met Marta in a cosy Italian restaurant in London’s Marylebone village, not far from the private members club that played host to her recent exhibition “Harmony in White” – a selection of paintings and a short film she produced about the creative process behind her own painting that was set to the music of the Bee Gees. The film revealed Marta’s highly personal approach to painting, from early stages of a portrait to its eventual completion.
A passionate, driven woman, Marta has an intensity that reflects her ability to not only get under the skin of her subjects, but also interpret how they interact with the space around them.
Colour, light, music and movement are used in a mutually complimentary way to conjure up further dimensions of meaning and relevance, signs of a painter determined to convey a message, not just reproduce what she sees in front of her.
Ham & High, Hampstead & Highgate Express, London 1 May 2008
You’ve Bee Framed:
Music Legend Drops into Art Show Gibb brother makes guest appearance after his songs are used in exhibition TUESDAY night fever was in the air for a West Hampstead artist when one of the Bee Gees turned up at an exhibition of her work. Marta Grigorieva was unveiling her latest figurative paintings when Robin Gibb made a guest appearance. The honour came because the artist’s new exhibition “One Light” features a short film with music by the Gibb brothers.
“I was showing a six-minute film set to the music of the Bee Gees songs so he wanted to honour that,” said Ms Grigorieva, of Gondar Gardens. “One of the songs, Spicks and Specks, is one of their earliest so I think he appreciated that.” Tragedy was the other song featured in the video and paintings exhibition, which opened at the No. 5 Cavendish Square in Marylebone last Tuesday.
“It was absolutely wonderful. There was a wide range of people from financiers, to film industry people, to friends,” said Ms Grigorieva. “They all got along and it was marvellous. I also sold a painting, the major picture I made for that exhibition.”
Image of a Woman, the signature piece, titled Alba: Sustained Presence, sold for ?3,500 in a silent auction. Ms Grigorieva said: “There is a woman with a skirt and a sunrise behind her, and you see both the power and vulnerability of the woman. “It was sold to a woman from Surrey who said she could relate to it so much. I looked at her and I knew that she is the kind of person who should have it.”
The use of video was a milestone for the Russian-born artist, who has studios in London and the Dominican Republic. She said: “It was special for me because it was the first time I made a film, and working with a film and editing it, I realised there are so many parallels in different art forms. “The question of music, where the image is worked out to music, means it follows to the image of the songs.”
She mainly uses impressionist techniques but her latest paintings are examples of what she calls “new wave portraiture”.
Ms Grigorieva trained in New York under Nelson Shanks, who has painted Princess Diana, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher. She has also had work commissioned for US senator Edward Kennedy of the New England Patriots American football team.
The artist studied music when she was at school and has economics degree from Moscow Technological University.
She said: “When I graduated I moved to New York immediately and started painting, just naturally. It probably was just a natural progression because I think that’s what I’m here for.
“It was enjoyable combining my innovative painting technique with Bee Gees music. And I look forward to doing it again. “
By Nick Collins
The Docklands, London 23 January 2008
Stream of Life
Life, love and friendship are explored in Marta Grigorieva’s new paintings created especially for The Docklands’ second birthday. The series of paintings use academic technique with impressionist colours, and vary between figurative and more abstract pieces. The paintings are like a freeze frame from a film telling a story. The work feature people’s interactions with one another.
“It is my picture of the world you see,” explains Marta. “It is about what goes on in life, the different characters, they are all engaging in some action. Life is a string of satisfying inner sensations. The “ideal” life contains achievement of love, friendship and activity.”
The Docklands, London 16 January 2008
Artist Shoots to Fame
PICTURE a Russian high school student – best known in her class for dismantling a Kalashnikov rifle in the fastest time – while wearing a blindfold. Marta Grigorieva was that student, but it is with a painter’s palette rather than with a rifle that she is making her name on both sides of the Atlantic.
A painting donated to the recent Archant London Press Ball fetched ?1,700 when auctioned for charity.
Senator Edward Kennedy owns one of her works and her paintings have been exhibited at Harvard University and Sotheby’s in the US. Her vivid yet moody explorations of the possibilities of figurative painting have won her places in many distinguished private collections. Earlier this year her work showcased at EFGprivate bank in Mayfair.
All of this is a long way from studying the bolting mechanisms of automatic firearms.
Travelling to New York clutching an economics degree in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, she earned an internship at Christie’s Russian department and later studied with Nelson Shanks, painter of Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and, most famously, Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace.
Now she is spending much of her time at her new West Hampstead studio, and like so many of her compatriots who have travelled west since Glasnost, is gradually falling in love with north London.
‘‘In St Petersburg I recall my childhood, in New York I spend time with my family and friends, as well as studing at Nelson’s workshop because he has so much to teach and I have so much to learn, but London is my favourite city of all. It has the history and the creative atmosphere, and it is very glamorous too,’‘
Her first commission was of a Russian Wolfhound and the second an assignment for Teddie Kennedy. Her work is rich and varied, from a commission to paint a collage of the New England Patriots American football team, to a portrait of Isabel in the Garden, Isabel being the daughter of Philip Byrne, the vice chairman ofUBS, London.
Her mentor Nelson Shanks is influenced by Rembrandt, and could not be said to flatter his subjects. Maria’s style is altogether softer. Her formal training is to paint portraits in academic way, to work from life nude models. She pays particular attention to colour and light when depicting female nudity, most obviously in a series of sensuous paintings recently exhibited in Mayfair.
Ham & High Hampstead & Highgate Express, London 10 January 2008
From Kalashnikov to Painter’s Palette: the Russian Artist with a Tender Touch
PICTURE a Russian high school student – not just any student but the one best known in her class for dismantling a Kalashnikov rifle in the fastest time. The image in your mind is likely to be far removed from the reality. Marta Grigorieva was that student, but it is with a painter’s palette rather than with a rifle that the petite doctor’s daughter from St Petersburg is making her name on both sides of the Atlantic.
A painting donated to the recent Archant London Press Ball brought gasps of admiration and fetched ?1,700 when auctioned for charity.
Senator Edward Kennedy owns one of her works, and her paintings have been exhibited at Harvard University and Sotheby’s in the US. Her vivid yet moody explorations of the possibilities of figurative painting have won her places in many distinguished private collections. Earlier last year her work showcased at EFGprivate bank in Mayfair.
All of this is a long way from studying the bolting mechanisms of automatic firearms.
Travelling to New York clutching an economics degree in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, she earned an internship at Christie’s Russian department, and later studied with Nelson Shanks, painter of Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and, most famously, Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace.
Now she spends much of her time at her new West Hampstead studio, and like so many compatriots who have travelled west since Glasnost, she is gradually falling in love with north London.
‘‘In St Petersburg I recall my childhood, in New York I spend time with my family and friends, as well as studying at Nelson’s workshop because he has so much to teach and I have so much to learn, but London is my favourite city of all. It has the history and the creative atmosphere, and it is very glamorous too,” she says. ‘‘Just look at all of this…’‘
We are sitting in the glass-fronted restaurant of the Tate Modern, and she gestures across the river where St Paul’s is glinting splendidly in the afternoon sun and The Gherkin is still permanently poised for take-off. The bullet-like shape of the edifice reminds me of the Kalashnikov story in her publicity brochure and I ask her if it is true.
‘‘Well yes, this is certainly true,’‘ she says, more demurely than any Soviet special agent could ever manage. ‘‘My publicist cannot resist telling everyone the story but I am not so sure – it really hasn’t got anything to do with my painting, has it?’‘
Her first commission was of a Russian Wolfhound and the second an assignment for Teddie Kennedy. Her work is rich and varied, from a commission to paint a collage of the New England Patriots American football team, to a beguiling portrait of Isabel in the Garden, Isabel being the daughter of Philip Byrne, the vice chairman of UBS, London.
Her mentor Nelson Shanks is strongly influenced by Rembrandt, and could not be said to flatter his subjects. Maria’s style is altogether softer. Her formal training is to paint portraits in academic way, to work from life nude models. She pays particular attention to colour and light when depicting female nudity, most obviously in a series of sensuous paintings recently exhibited in Mayfair.
It is perhaps not surprising that her paintings have a lyrical quality with suggestions of fluidity and progressive movement. Her doctor parents saw for her a career in music, and she studied pianoforte and violin at the age of six, but rebelled gently against a life that revolved around study and endless hours of music practice, both in and out of school.
‘‘Painting was my way out, to express myself and to live life to its purpose. I love all aspects of life and the most important part of it for me is painting,’‘ says Ms Grigorieva. ‘‘Wherever I am, in the United States, in Italy, in the Dominican Republic (where she also has a studio) or in West Hampstead, I am painting, usually for five or six hours at a time. Once I start, I find it difficult to tear myself away from the canvas.’‘
Her life has changed dramatically but perhaps the influence of the military high school has not been entirely removed. One of her own favourite paintings is a larger-than-life portrait of Sean Connery as special agent 007. It is about theatrics of life.
‘‘Mmmm, James Bond,’‘ she muses. ‘‘I have painted him with a woman who seems to be saying, ‘I know your game, you are 007, you are this mythical figure who is James Bond, but in reallity you are an actor Sean Connery’.’‘
Faced with her famous subject in a darkened room, there would be no prizes for guessing which of the two would win the race to dismantle a Kalashnikov.
www.hamhigh.co.uk Thursday 10 January 2008, News pages 26 – 27
Press Release: London 22 March 2007
On March 22, 2007 – at an exhibition, Les Trois Visages, held at EFG private bank, in Mayfair, London – Marta will be unveiling her figurative portraits of legendary actor Sean Connery and of ‘Spamalot’s’ Hannah Waddingham.
Marta Grigorieva is blonde, beautiful and can dismantle a Kalashnikoff rifle in thirty seconds flat, wearing a blindfold. In dramatic contrast, she is also one of the most distinguished portrait painters of her generation. The daughter of two doctors – she grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, has a degree in Economics, and attended Harvard graduate school, majoring in fine arts.
Marta always had an interest and passion for fine and decorative arts. This led her to an intern at Christie’s Russian department in New York, where she specialized in the work of Faberge. Later on she began studying with leading American portrait painter, Nelson Shanks – who has painted portraits of Bill Clinton, Mrs. Thatcher, and Diana, Princess of Wales who sat for him at Kensington Palace. Shanks became her mentor, and it was not long before she gained her own reputation as a figurative portrait painter.
The use of light in her paintings became more and more significant and this is still in evidence in her current work. By taking several views of the subject on one canvas, Marta is able to reveal the different and often hidden aspects of their inner world. Her work continues to explore exciting new methods of figurative painting whereby mood, character and individual personality are heightened by her exceptional use of color and light.
She is delighted to be showcasing her work at EFG private bank at 3 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London, W1.
The Mail on Sunday, London 4 February 2007
An exciting conversion on the River Thames has just come on the market for ?1,000 a square foot – a new high even for
booming Henley-on-Thames, where property prices are more than three times the national average. Set on tiny Wharf Lane,
one of the most exclusive streets in Henley and part of a stretch along the river known as millionaires’ row,
its eye-watering ?3.25 million price tag set a new precedent for property prices in Henley. Pride of place in the Boathouse,
however, goes to some of the artwork of (proprietors’) Russian friend, painter Marta Grigorieva.
Press Release: London January 2007
Russian Born, the daughter of two doctors, Marta Grigorieva showed early artistic promise, studying pianoforte and violin at the age of six in St. Petersburg. She began painting at the age of eleven and in 1997 completed studies in fine arts, particularly the Italian Renaissance, at the Harvard University Graduate school of Arts and Sciences. She later attended the Arts Student’s League in New York and studied portraiture at the Prince of Wales Foundation in London. In 2000 Marta has obtained her USA citizenship.
Marta’s paintings have been exhibited at salons and galleries in Italy, England, at Harvard University, and Sotheby’s in the United States. Many of her works are in private collections in England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United States.
In her forthcoming exhibition Marta will show exciting new methods of figurative painting, first by revealing and amplifying the inner aspects of her subject’s personality through several views and then heightening the mood and character by her exceptional use of colour.