The Pope in Milan

As a memento of this exceptional event, the artist Olga Abramova has produced the original of a multiple limited edition guaranteed by a notary´s declaration.

The fascination of the orobollo

The journey of Olga Abramova: born in Moscow, she has been a Varese resident for eight years. One won´t find this word in the dictionary and its pronunciation brings to mind the Italian word for a postage stamp: francobollo but with an air of something even more valuable. In fact, an orobollo is a limited edition serigraph a bit larger than a postage stamp generally 9cm x 7.5cm and mounted on a passe-partout with an irregular edge invented by Mario Fabbri of Milan in 1977. Significant editions include the series dedicated to the beauty of Canton Ticino, featuring the Madonna del Ghirli and another featuring the Sasso di Locarno. These collectable works have involved well-know artists and professors at Milan´s Brera Art Academy.  And also a young painter born in Moscow but resident in the Lombard province of Varese for 8 years Olga Abramova was chosen to create an orobollo commemorating Pope Benedict XVI´s visit to Milan. In honor of this extraordinary event, an edition of 10,000 was printed. "Unfortunately, the editor Mario Fabbri unexpectedly passed away right after the orobollo was printed. He had seen some of my work and had entrusted me with the task of depicting the Papal visit to Milan. I studied the architecture of Milan´s Duomo and made a multitude of sketches before making the final drawing in which the Pope is shown in his Easter vestments, including the Papal pallium with three pins prefiguring Christ´s passion. He is bathed in the light emanating from the Duomo´s madonnina," explains Olga, 25 years old and soon to graduate from Brera with a thesis on Flemish painting. "Artists must challenge themselves with important issues and this work has strengthened my confidence in my abilities. The serigraph has been admired for its composition and colors." Olga recently experienced a resounding success at an auction of drawings by young artists organized by the Orler Gallery in Venice, "I sold a piece titled ´Waiting for Leda´, it was an oil-charcoal on pastel paper depicting a man transforming into a swan." The young painter refined her knowledge of anatomy in Guben, Germany where she worked from real specimens while creating two drawings for a new anatomical atlas before continuing on to Amsterdam with the goal of deepening her understanding of Flemish artists, the subject of her thesis. Her thesis advisor at Brera is Rolando Bellini, who is also the exhibitions curator at Castiglione Olona´s Palazzo Branda. "Flemish painting possesses a unique light, which I have tried to reproduce in my paintings, in which my search for the beauty of color is intensified by the use of black, rendering it less artificial. As to the rest, I am Russian, and we continue to maintain a strong tradition of figurative work."

The unbounded art of Olga

Her latest work created for Galliate’s library: La cultura che offre ai giovani il libro della conoscenza Art everyday, the passion that pushes her to keep going; ten, twelve hours of work each day in search of perfection or simply in pursuit of an idea. Olga Abramova, 23, born in Moscow and resident in Varese for 6 years, is a figurative painter from another era. She works from life, from models or en plein air, continually experimenting, following new ideas while at the same time studying and refining her techniques at Milan’s Brera Academy from which she will soon be graduating with a degree in painting. "I was born into a family of artists," she explains: "Grandfather Leonardo was a photographer and cameraman, grandmother a director and actress, my mother Irina is a pianist. For us it’s normal to receive a cultural education within the family, and also to cultivate [these interests] through private study, with a tutor, as was customary in the past." In Russia, Olga completed her studies at the scientific high school; in Varese she began with the linguistic, and completed her final year at the artistic, high school. Meanwhile she never stopped feeding her passions: dance - as a student of flamenco instructor Giancarla Bezzecchi - psychology and language. "I’ve been painting since I was 10; here I study with Michele Ferrari and, for drawing and portraiture, with Marco Foderati." "I love the human figure, the movement and expression, which I observe also in dance. ’Brothers, have faith in your own eyes,’ could be my motto, in fact, expressions of joy and pain are the same for everyone in the world. I believe in humankind’s ability to communicate but I also enjoy painting landscapes and still lifes. Today very few know how to draw, but they also lack interesting faces to portray," remarks Olga, standing in front of her large-scale masculine portrait entitled "Igor" - created with charcoal and pastel - that was published in the French magazine Connaissance des Arts. Her works have also been recognized in Paris at the Foire Internationale du Dessin, for the next edition of which she is now preparing drawings. In addition, her work is being shown in two Italian galleries, in Rome and at Pietrasanta’s "Nardi". "A girl in Paris told me that my portraits were worthy of Italian art; she couldn’t have given me a warmer compliment. I love Raphael and Correggio, both masters of drawing as well as of color." Olga Abramova has recently completed a work for Galliate Lombardo’s library entitled: La cultura che offre ai giovani il libro della conoscenza (Culture offers youth the book of knowledge), in which a female figure, draped in reddish-orange, is shown arriving on a boat, bringing the book of knowledge to two children. "Drawing is a formidable means of knowing what it will take to complete the final painting. Using only photographs would not give me all of the necessary information, I need three-dimensionality, with the subject to be analyzed and then elaborated. When I want to express an action, I adapt the model to my concept and then I make the drawing. One needs to know every secret of the form, as for actors; it’s necessary to memorize the part. Beauty is definable; but the paradox is that today we value the ugliness in certain types of painting and instead spasmodically search for the contrived beauty offered in magazines and advertising. In my work, I am instead searching for a natural beauty." At the age of 23, Olga displays a rare maturity and a prodigious thirst for knowledge: "I continue to dance, I practice the 10 dances from the Olympic program of Varese’s ’Campione Danze’ school, and flamenco; but for now I’m not thinking about doing exhibitions. The exhibition is a destination rather than a point of departure, and the painter is one who paints but doesn´t necessarily exhibit. There’s still plenty of time for that."

Diritto dell'uomo

Francobollo d'autore

Semaine parisienne du dessin