Psychotherapy and art doctor - Alexander Derkach. Understand Portugal through art deco paintings.
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Alexander Derkach is an artist from Russia (Kaliningrad). He has been creating art for 35 years now, his artworks were exhibited in Stockholm, Paris, Funchal. Many of those entered private collections in Japan, Germany and the US. Since 2012 Derkach has maintained a private creative studio in Kaliningrad, Russia, which cooperated with Kaliningrad Museum of History and Art, and his paintings are sold in Portugal and also internationally.
In Portugal, the artist is represented exclusively on the island of Madeira, where you can buy his original paintings in several styles.
Art deco, abstraction, landscapes, female portraits and small city scenes mostly painted in oil on canvas or on oil pastels.
Surprisingly, the artist easily combines his Siberian roots, the past of a military doctor and the softness of forms and subjects. His northern style perfectly matches the spirit of Portugal, its inhabitants and colours.
I’ve been drawing since childhood. At school I was the one responsible for realizing bulletin boards on a weekly basis. Later during my studies at a Siberian medical school I prepared some sketches of development anomalies for the Anatomy Department and some information boards for the Social Hygiene Department. The materials and instruments I mostly used back then were paper, ink, gouache, pencil. I also drew for fun and made presents for my friends - some pictures of different genres, cartoons, portraits. After turning 20, I started to work with oil on canvas, subscribed to thematic literature, learnt painting technologies and techniques, art history. I’ve been painting a lot while serving as a military doctor in Germany (actually my basic education is in Psychotherapy, I’ve devoted 10 years to this profession). After leaving my career at Psychiatry, I worked in Zabajakles Art Salon (Siberia) for 5 years. Later my first personal exhibition was held in Chita Regional Art Museum. Then I moved to Kaliningrad in 1994.
Why did you go for Psychiatry? Did it have any impact on your art later?
I chose this direction by the end of my medical studies, it seemed the most interesting to me. What can possibly be more fascinating than the depth of human subconscious? It might have had an impact on my art, but frankly I don't know in which way. Some of my abstracts might echo that period of my life. I do not regret that time of my life even a little. Moreover, I feel I could go back to Psychiatry today, it seems like it’s has become more peaceful nowadays.
Actually, there are so many examples of doctor-artists: Andrei Bilzho (Psychiatrist), Vladimir Yudin, Alexander Voitsekhovsky, Paul Gachet, Michail Chemodanov, Chekhov -a doctor and a writer. I do not put myself in the same row with them, I just want to illustrate that this phenomenon is quite common.
How did Madeira happen in your life?
I live in Kaliningrad. For me, Madeira was first discovered as a wonderful destination by my daughter, she owns a property there with her husband in Funchal. So it’s been around 5 years that we annually visit this fantastic island with my wife. In 2020 we planned to spend 3 months in Madeira, but the lockdown was in our way. Every time our stay comes to an end, I always feel like I don’t want to leave.
I adore everything about Madeira - paved streets, old houses, doors, cafes, ocean, gardens, the rush of the farmer’s market in the morning, climate, odours of flowers blooming all year long. I would be honored to paint one of the doors on Rua de Santa Maria in Funchal, especially because I already have some ideas. I’m always happy to meet my friends from Art Center Caravel and participate in all of its events. In my spare time and in the evening I love painting near the pool.
Alecia Guseva, Veronika Zhezhovska ARTE.M cultural and artistic association