Olga Larionova’s Emotional Pull
Olga Melamory Larionova is a young artist from Nizhny Novgorod in Russia who creates hyper-realistic drawings in graphite or colored pencils. Her incredible skill with pencils and her ardent dedication to traditional materials are remarkable in our digital era. Though she now works as an interior designer, Melamory still considers hyper-realistic art her greatest passion. Melamory never went to art school and believes that being self-taught helped her develop a unique style. Her artistic process involves working on different areas and then linking them like puzzle pieces to create absolutely astonishing portraits.
The level of detail in Melamory’s works leaves viewers speechless, mesmerized, and struggling to reconcile with the fact that these are in fact pencil drawings. This piece – Liberty – is a portrait drawing which rivals high-resolution photography. Melamory meticulously captures every detail — from single strands of hair to the reflections in the water. This piece is especially stunning in its depiction of the water flowing down the subject’s face, capturing one single fleeting moment in time in unbelievable detail. Liberty is also incredibly expressive and emotional: the subject’s closed eyes are calm and peaceful, but her full lips and open mouth evoke passion and sensuality.
Melamory is inspired by the world around her, from famous celebrities to the simple beauty of light reflecting off a surface. Part of her strength lies in the monochrome nature of her pencil portraits – viewers are not distracted by any colors or textures, and can focus on the subjects and their beauty. Moreover, Melamory’s subjects often look straight at the viewer, with intense gazes that invite us into their private worlds. Her hyperrealistic style emphasizes details such as deep, telling wrinkles, subtle slopes of lips, or the spark in a subject’s eye which hold the viewers’ attention and incites curiosity and contemplation. Her ability to combine this emotional pull with deft artistic skill is truly exceptional.
How do you feel when you see Melamory’s work?