Bowls brimming with cherries. Donuts with red sprinkles. Cacti with pink blooms. These are a few of Olga and Aleksey Ivanovs’ favorite things. The Denver-area painters are unique for several reasons. First of all, they work in egg tempera, a timeless medium once used by the ancient Egyptians. And secondly, the couple works in tandem, creating their exquisite paintings together.
Before moving from Russia to Colorado in 2002, the Ivanovs restored Russian icons. Today their works often feature what observers might call icons or symbols of modern American life: Hershey’s Kisses, bottles of Tabasco sauce, and cake boxes from Whole Foods.
Small paintings by the couple can take up to a month to complete and larger figurative pieces can take up to a year, Aleksey says in the September issue of Southwest Art. “We prefer not to rush. We enjoy the entire process, from creating gesso to the final signature in red.” The Ivanovs are also featured in Life of Still Life, an upcoming solo show opening on September 17 at Arts at Denver. –Bonnie Gangelhoff