Alexander Tikhomirov was born in 1956 in Elektrostal, Moscow region in a family of an artist. Profoundly impressed by his father’s solo show in 1970-1971, Alexander decided to devote his life to art. In 1973 he was accepted to the Moscow State Academic Art School in memory of 1905, which he finished in 1979 with excellent marks. This helped the young artist to be enrolled in prestigious G. M. Korzhev’s Workshop at the Moscow State Art and Design University (former Stroganov Art College) in 1979, which he successfully graduated in 1984.
After graduation, in 1984, Alexander Tikhomirov moved to the Far East of Russia as a monumentalist artist. For Tikhomirov, by his own admission, various career milestones in art appeared quite unexpectedly, turning a new age in his life. A number of successful monumental projects – mosaics decorating the public buildings of the Far Eastern region – brought him forward into the professional level, worthy of respect and high professional evaluation. The culmination of this process is the invention of a new artistic style “Okonopis” that has no analogues in the world. This unique concept was born on the boards of Amur river, in Blagoveschensk, on the Far-East of Russia:
“This concept of a divine nature was given me as a dream and became the meaning of my life. Okonopis is my artistic invention. The words eye, window (“oko”, “okno”), okonopis have the same roots in Russian. After all, the windows are the eyes of a house, while the shutters are a kind of lashes that protect the eyes from the evil eye, from a stone thrown by an evil hand. The main idea of Okonopis is a creation of images of Orthodox saints on old window shutters that serve me as a unique material. My mission is no more than to discover and show the image of Creator in his own creation. Some works are decorated with gold and silver. Gold and silver are the metals that represent imperishability. Previously, icon-painters used these metals in large amounts. For me, the main thing is that the metals do not interfere with the perception of the most spiritual essence of the work. Okonopis is a metaphorical art. Emotions and morality are very important”.
In his technique, the artist places emphasis on nature, so the main material for the major series of “Okonopis” paintings is natural wood. The category of time is important for the artist, and is manifested even in the details – the shutters used are usually not less than half a century old… Thus, “okonopis” structures keep a piece of the unique culture of Russian architecture, of the same Disappearing Russia…
At the beginning, the artist was criticized and his works were rejected by the Orthodox church. Later, everything has changed. The artist’s highly spiritual art was appreciated and recognized in Russia and abroad. Alexander exposed a lot, people helped him to make his art known. His unique paintings were exhibited in the museums and private collections in Russia, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA. The most important exhibitions were in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, where the artist exhibited 3 times, and in Jerusalem.
“The most important of all the exhibitions is one that I had in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. With this exhibition I became the first artist whose work has been exhibited in the museum during the artist’s lifetime. This is an exceptional case. Typically, the works of masters come to this museum after their death”.
In 2000, 2006 and 2007 the national TV Channel “Kultura” shot and broadcasted the films on the artist’s creative work. The film was also broadcasted by TV Channel NTV in 2003 and 2013.