Iskan profile

Iskan is an abstractionist non-commercial artist with a penchant for bright colours.img_6788

Born into a family of schoolteachers in 1956 in Tiraspol, at that time a town in Moldavia, now capital of breakaway Transnistria, as a kid he was exposed to a Jewish environment. He is believed to have been the black sheep of his school.

His mother comes from the Gansky family, a Ukrainian branch of the Polish Hańsky  nobility known by the illustrious Eveline Hańska, the wife of the French novelist Honoré  de Balzac. His father was a Sunni Volga Tatar educated in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

img_6766Iskan is a graduate interpreter and economist. Before practicing as a business consultant, he was employed at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Moscow and Bucharest.

Iskan put together a small yet fine collection of pictures by Soviet anti-communist nonconformist artists.

Never having studied art, he unexpectedly took to painting oil on canvas in June 2015.


Artistic Statement

I take sunlight and transform it into the colours of my paintings. The Sun’s energy passes into them.

My work comes from nature. I’m inspired by the sky, the sea, the line of the horizon, by the dusks and dawns, by the curves of the mountains and of the female body. I generalise images, often reducing them to geometric shapes. I think that the viewer recognises them subconsciously, reading off their meanings and reconstructing the original picture in his imagination. img_6763

My colours are pure and my shapes are clear. I use the best paints, only sometimes adding linseed oil; I don’t use solvents, white spirit or other chemicals.

My pictures come from nature – my only teacher.

Contact Iskander by e mail at

Iskan is an artist by God’s own grace, Or by Nature’s. Whichever one you prefer. What matters is that his art comes somewhere from the depths of Being, from the world of the subconscious which is through and through natural, organic and limitless in the possibilities of self-expression. There is nothing studied, laboured or far-fetched. The artist doesn’t try to dazzle with hidden meanings or to show off his painterly technique. The thesis “painting is freedom” is fully realised in his works.

Abstraction? Subjectless art? Concretism? Whatever name we find for Iskan’s art won’t change its essence: it will remain mesmerisingly beautiful – beautiful in its openness to the viewer, in its vibrancy and lusciousness, in its absolutely natural foundation. In his artistic declaration, the artist says that Nature is his teacher, that it is the energy of the Sun that guides his brush and is captured in his canvases. It’s unlikely that anyone will argue with the fact that Iskan’s works exude energy. The energy of the Sun doesn’t necessarily have to mean the brightness of the palette. His paintings can be both clamorous and saturated or tender and laconic in their combination of pastel colours. But they always make one feel a powerful spurt of energy that is coming somewhere from Nature’s depths.

It should be noted that Iskan’s works are heterogeneous. In fact, they are very different. I think the reason for that is that he is in a continuing search of himself. He has been an active painter for a rather short time. Hence, the spontaneously arising need to use different techniques for in-depth self-expression. In him, we see both clear geometric planes that calmly, almost solemnly complete one another and the nervously vibrating fields interacting in a zigzag turbulence. Some of his works exhibit stately tranquility, others – a violent rebellion. Sometimes planes of colour are supplemented with symbols. Rarely can there be seen clear figurative matter. But even there figurativeness is of a symbolically abstract nature.

Iskander Ilyazov is an extraordinary person in whom the artist had been hidden for a long time, making himself known only in temperament, passion and exceptional though purely human qualities. However, that hidden artist was too strong not to break out and declare himself directly in painting work. Consequently, now we have a rare and joyful opportunity to see Art per se – the art of a most spontaneous artist who is, in a way, a symbol of Man’s Nature-given abilities.

Olga Petrova, Professor of Art Studies, Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Information and Information Technologies, Moscow


Iskander Ilyazov is a passionate collector, a man of great creative verve and boundless spirit. We became acquainted several years ago, introduced by Natta Konysheva, a wonderful Moscow artist whose work I had discovered for myself in Paris back in the end of the 1980s. Our mutual interest in her work brought us closer. We would then see each other at Nice, Cannes and  various venues elsewhere, for example at the excellent 2013 retrospective exhibition of Erik Bulatov at the Monaco New National Museum, which lent itself to a most rewarding discussion. 

Why and how did Iskander, at a mature age, become an artist? There is no simple answer to this question. Perhaps, because he had for a long time felt a need for it. Each man is the creator of his own destiny and happiness. It is Iskander’s inexhaustible energy that makes his paintings so creatively expressive. The accent is placed on the asymmetry of composition, while the decorative ornamentation of lines and an unusual palette bring out his individuality and the force of his personality.

I’m delighted that Iskander’s personal catalogued exhibition is taking place at the Moscow GARDEN RING “Sadovoe Koltso” Museum and with all my heart wish him further creative joy and success.

René Guerra, Honoray Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts