I was born in Queens, New York in 1941. As the son of the noted Russian muralist, Eugene Zaikine (pronounced zay-EE-kin), my earliest memory of my father was to see him upon the scaffolding of churches like Michelangelo, painting mystical Marys and stern St. Peters. Following this early exposure to my father's high standards of aesthetics and craftsmanship, I went on to gain national recognition with works of art which are currently owned by collectors throughout the world. I have also been fortunate to have participated in a large number of major exhibits and received numerous awards of which I am very proud.
I have been painting ever since the age of 4, and I've never known a day in which art was not a part of my life. The ability to shape molten metal led to my experimenting with metal sculpting and I became one of the world's earliest recyclers, giving all types of discarded metal objects, even coat hangers, a new life.
As a sculptor of bronzes, I believe my sense of design and technique give my pieces a fluid illusion of buoyancy and lightness rarely found among many other works. I try to capture the purest inner essence whether the subject is a lean, supple nude from my contemplation series, or the spiritual self-encounter of "The Uniting," or the whimsical creatures I simply call "Wood Fairies." My work is mythological and archetypal, but also reflects my own personal reality as a man and an artist.
I've also told stories and created fairy tales for as long as I can remember, many that now relate to experiences I've had as an artist. I came from the folk art tradition of oral storytelling, but when asked by an editor of a major publishing house to write them down, I hedged. However, after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I felt compelled to focus on something I could do to lift the situation and I recorded Pearls of Wisdom, Points of Light, and the Magical Golden Fish on my first CD on the first take.
Then in January, 2003, I was invited to spend 10 days at the Gift House on the island of Kauai, Hawaii by a private foundation that offers people involved in charitable, spiritual or artistic work, and who give generously of their time and energy to support others, a space for renewal in the land of rainbows and waterfalls. There I became an author and my first children's book, The Magic of Hanalei Bay, was born.
My life, of course, is not just about the art I have created. I also brought two wonderful daughters into this world, Lynda and Anastasia. When Anastasia was only 2-1/2 years old, she had her first showing at Art Ovations Gallery in the Presidio area of San Francisco, and was selling her miniature clay sculptures at shows right along with mine by the time she was 6. In fact, at many exhibits, she outsold me! Today, her works are still reasonably priced and sell out at all of her exhibits and showings.
Two years ago I was faced with the delicate, ephemeral nature of the human body first hand. Health complications resulted in the loss of my left leg. Through art I am exploring this journey and developing new ways of working. This loss has led me to a state of retrospection as well, and I am revisiting some of my original creations in bronze and steel, which can be found right here on ArtPal.
Thank you for looking!
Metal & Paint