Latvian Ambassador to Cairo: Naumovs is one of the most famous artists in my country

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Latvian Embassy in Egypt launched a new cultural project featuring contemporary Latvian painter, former university rector and current professor of the Latvian Academy of Arts Alexis Naumovs.

The project included a series of workshops presented by Alexis Naumovs, famous for his skill in painting outdoor scenes against the historical backdrop of panoramic views of Cairo, where participants had the unique opportunity to learn from Naumovs’ experience in using acrylic colors to depict outdoor scenes.

On the sidelines of the events, Latvian Ambassador to Cairo, Andris Razans, said that cultural and artistic exchange is a great opportunity to increase bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Latvia.

He added that the cultural project, launched by the Latvian Embassy in Cairo, aims to promote landscape painting and traditions in Egypt, to enhance artistic and cultural exchange.
The ambassador explained that the project is “a wonderful initiative, and one of the very rare, but very good opportunities for diplomats, to do diplomacy a little differently,” noting that Naumovs is the most famous artist in his country.

For his part, Latvian artist Alexis Naumovs confirmed his happiness to launch a series of workshops that he presented in Egypt, stressing that it is a special and different experience for him.

Naumovs’ practical approach and dedication to working directly in the natural environment is a source of inspiration.

This familiarity with the outdoors as a working environment has allowed Naumovs to develop a unique depiction of natural light in his art, exploiting sunlight, or its absence, to convey the mood, atmosphere and moment.

In addition to the workshops, Naumovs shared his insights and experiences in a special lecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University entitled “Latvian Traditions in Scenery Painting and the Use of Art in Animation.”

The lecture provided an introduction to the Latvian tradition of scene painting, with a special focus on the Latvian artistic heritage. Furthermore, Naumovs focused on the intersection of art and animation, providing insights into the creative process and the integration of artistic techniques.

The project is organized by the Latvian Embassy in Egypt in cooperation with the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University and Art Café in Maadi.

It is worth noting that Alexis Naumovs graduated from the Department of Archaeological Painting at the Academy of Arts in Latvia, and received a scholarship from the French government, the Sorbonne University of Plastic Arts, and the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, and studied painting in Paris.

From 2007 to 2017, he was President of the Latvian Academy of Arts, where he currently works as a professor, and was the initiator, director and curator of exchange programs and exhibitions in various cooperation projects in Italy, France, Japan, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Russia, USA and elsewhere.

He has held more than 60 personal exhibitions since 1977, mainly painting landscapes in Latvia and abroad. He is often referred to as the best outdoor artist in contemporary Latvia, and works constantly in the field of landscapes, as well as in book illustrations. He received the Latvian National Film Award for “Best Animation Artist” for the film “The Law of the Heart”.

The artist’s vitality to life is also reflected in his pictorial language, composition and color palette. With amazing talent, a subtle sense of color, light, space and lightness of atmosphere, the artist reveals the magic of cities.

For several years, Naumovs has held painting courses in many European and international cities of nature painting, where he is interested in every specific place, time and feeling that turns into a painting, so as a momentary note, on the lower edge of the painting, next to the signature, you can also read the name of the place and time.

And the artist works a lot in nature, and not only because he can appreciate it and knows how, it is necessary for painting, because such colors and lights cannot be “installed” in the workshop, but can only be seen, observed and drawn in nature, and that is why the classics of our and world painting She had already worked outdoors, like bees gathering honey for paintings composed in the workshop.

His paintings can be described as spontaneous, emotional, and full of mood, but this is not determined by the idea of ​​the painting, the specific place that the artist focused on, but by the light of the moment captured in the painting, its effect on color and shape, the blue, green, pink, and red lines, As if they were spontaneously placed on the canvas, there are very few coincidences.

In addition to drawing, Naumovs is a great illustrator of children’s books, and in 2021 he received an international nomination for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Prize for his work in children’s book design.

The artist is very active in Latvian cultural sciences, is a member of several juries, and has been a cultural ambassador of the Republic Latvia in France and a visiting professor at several European art universities.

Naumovs’ contribution to art was also appreciated by the State of Latvia, which in 2009 awarded the artist with the highest award – the Commander of the Cross of Merit, in 2004 he was awarded the Order of the President of Italy, and in 2016 he was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters.

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