There's something absolutely mesmerizing about the porcelain flowers by the Ukraine-born artist Vladimir Kanevsky who is featured in the latest issue of The Wall Street Journal Magazine, which just hit newsstands.
Based in the suburban town of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Kanevsky has mastered the 18th-century craft of sculpting porcelain flowers and he has quietly made a name for himself in the decorative arts world since the 1990s. His exquisitely handcrafted porcelain flowers -- which include hyacinths, clematis and hollyhocks -- are now coveted by well-known designers like Oscar de la Renta and Charlotte Moss. And it's easy to see why they're so charmed by Kanevsky's creations; the resemblance to the natural flowers is uncanny.
For Kanevsky, antique botanical prints and the glass flowers collection at the Museum of Natural History at Harvard University are sources of inspiration. But while Kanevsky's ceramic pieces are undoubtedly pretty, there's often a touch of the imperfect -- like the intentional bent stem or visible insect bites. He also hand-paints all the flowers himself, and he explains how it can be the hardest part of the process sometimes. "I am not trying to make fake flowers, but rather sculpture about flowers," says Kanevsky. "One needs to keep a balance between the real color of real materials and the fiction of painting. I recently discontinued a newly designed line of more heavily painted flowers because it looked too naturalistic, like a theater prop."
To read the full article on Kanevsky's life and his porcelain works, head over to The Wall Street Journal.