Mikhail Solovev was born on July 21, 1991, in Vladivostok, a remote eastern city of Russia, to a family of a police officer and a saleswoman. When he was five his father joined a religious sect and left the family. This fact ultimately influenced Mikhail’s art and themes of his paintings. Because of a mother’s new family, he had to live in a small 6-square-meter room and distance himself from them. For almost 15 years, he lived with these people like a stranger. He never talked to his stepfather and had problems with peers at school, so the only solution he found was to create his own world where he could feel comfortable. That is how he discovered philosophy and poetry, and then later painting and classical music. At the age of 15, he started to think, how could he express himself and leave a mark in history? Mikhail chose to paint because it corresponds to his perception of the world.
His development as a serious artist started after finishing a children’s art school. The love of painting turned into a profession. At the age of 15, he created his first lino print inspired by Goya’s series “Los caprichos”. In 2008, he got into the Vladivostok Art College and became a teacher of fine arts. After that in 2014, he entered the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, the Department of Painting. Moving across the country was a hard decision for him. How could he replace the Pacific Ocean and salty air of Vladivostok with a gray cloudy sky of Saint Petersburg? However, a thirst for art won. The Academy of Arts opened up a new world and access to knowledge about art for him. Mikhail managed to study in several workshops there: of K.V. Grachev (2014-2015), of Professor I.G. Uralov (2015-2016), an easel workshop under the guidance of Professor Y.V. Kalyuta (2016-2018), and another one of Professor and Head of the Department of Painting – V.S. Pesikov (from 2018 until now).
In 2015, he took part in plein-airs in Pushkinskiye Gory. In 2016, the Mikhaylovskoye Museum Reserve bought his painting “The interior of A.S. Pushkin’s study”. Also, he went on a creative trip to Crimea, which led to organizing an exhibition in the Museum-flat of A.I. Kuindzhi located in Alupka town. Mikhail is a regular participant of various exhibitions and plein-airs.
At the beginning of his journey as an artist, Mikhail did not look for some special plastic language but studied Old Masters’ painting techniques. His priority was to show materiality and three-dimensional space. But the more his skills improved, the more he started to think about thoughts and feelings he wants to express.
In the search for the theme that would let him reveal all the creative potential, Mikhail dealt with historical, religious, mythological subjects, and acute social issues. Now he tries to use centuries’ experience in painting techniques to show the power of realism and depth of eternal philosophic thought.