The painting style of Moscow based artist Andrey Remnev lies somewhere between antiquity and contemporary. One look at his work, and it should come as no surprise that he studied painting at the Holy Andronic monastery in Moscow for eight years. The site is home to some of the most precious examples of Russian Orthodox art, from which Remnev borrows his techniques and palette of natural pigments. “My paintings are distinguished by attention to detail and meticulous decorating a conditional Russian style. Other works are written in a different, more symbolic way… I tried to convey a sense of wonder, the unique experience of touching the mystery,” he says. Russian iconic art is characterized for its decorative style, the use of rich color, and emphasis on symbolism in the form of icons. The most important quality for an icon was its ability to transmit a feeling of ecstasy and heavenliness. To attain these aesthetic goals, Remnev paints his subjects in a particular range of colors, and with a certain flatness. These qualities also open a window for the artist to play with abstraction and design in a way that changes our perception of the picture’s reality. By altering his subjects’ bright and decorative clothing and the geometric negative space around them, suddenly his work becomes illusionistic and dreamlike. In one piece, an aristocratic woman’s dress seems to open up into a blue-skied world, while in another, her cloud-shaped wig becomes a part of an orange sunset. Remnev’s work frequently displays familiar images of iconic art in this unusual context, giving new meaning to old styles.