Slava Ilyayev was born on May 11, 1970 in Baku, Azerbaijan (formerly part of the U.S.S.R.). Ilyayev began studying art in his hometown in 1991. After emigrating to Israel in 1995, he continued his studies at the renowned Israeli art school in Tel Aviv, the Avni Institute of Art and Design.
In 1999, Ilyayev participated in his first major exhibitions, first at the Art and Sculpture Union in Tel Aviv and then at the Safari Gallery in Jerusalem. Exhibits soon followed throughout Israel and abroad, as well as shows in the United States.
Ilyayev’s work is characterized by the elevated texture he creates by applying oil paints with a palette knife. Drawing heavily on autumnal colors and the changing of the leaves, Ilyayev often portrays a theme of rainbow-coloured, tree-lined streets, reminiscent of Central Park in November. His foregrounds, especially streams and ponds, frequently mimic the strokes of the leaves below as the spectrum of colors leap off the canvas.
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