Culture & Art

Dec 1, 2016

Efflorescence after sixties

For over 20 years that Vladimir Kanevsky has been living in New York making his living from manufacturing porcelain flowers, real pieces of art unparalleled to anyone else's works. Kanevsky's flowers adorn houses of the world's richest people, including members of European crown families, and are of great demand among collectors. On average, a flower pot by Kanevsky is evaluated at from USD 3000 to 20 000 dollars.


Kanevsky's flowers surprise even the most sophisticated connoisseurs. They are so "alive" that until one touches them, it is impossible to believe it is porcelain. Hand painted flower buds, toned leaves… Even ceramic ground in the pots looks like real.

In his 63, sculptor Vladimir Kanevsky is on high demand, being popular as he has never been in his life before. The professional vocation and success came to him thanks to the work he has always hated. Only after his fifties he fell in love with this work.

Before moving to the United States of America (EUA), the Ukrainian architect Vladimir Kanevsky was projecting public buildings in Leningrad and whole residential quarters in his native Kharkov. When he turned 40, he moved to New York, EUA, and immediately faced all the challenges of a fresh immigrant's life.

In a strange country, without connections, experience, and almost without money, he took up the job that could provide for his living. Vladimir, the former successful architect, started making porcelain flowers. One can't say he was very inspired making artificial lilies of the valley, - it just appeared to be the most reliable way of earning.

«I really needed money», he says. «Porcelain flowers were easier to sell than, say, a sculpture. That's why I was moulding them. And hated them».

The hated porcelain flowers, though, were coming out quite lifelike, what evoked admiration in public. At a New York store, where its owner was exhibiting Vladimir's works, famous designers and rich collectors started to buy them. Many of clients were form Europe, and soon porcelain lilies of the valley and peonies found themselves in collections of some royals, thus ceramic bouquets came into fashion not only in United States of America, but in Europe, too.

A few years later Vladimir Kanevsky accepted an order for a few customized compositions for the Parisian boutique fashion house Dior. He was nearly fifty, and his career just started gaining momentum.

«The first flowers I sent to Dior were shattered to pieces on the way», he remembers. «Up to now the transportation of articles to Europe is a great problem», he states.

The porcelain flowers of Kanevsky gained such a popularity mainly because of their true to life look. Tender lilies of the valley, velvet peonies, fine daffodils, and absolutely realistic lilac, seemingly emitting overwhelming fragrances, - all that is the result of the fantastically fine workmanship and stunning mastery. The pieces are handmade, every single one is unique. The porcelain flowers are strung on copper stems with leaves, covered with glaze, and painted. The bouquets are "planted" into ancient flower pots.

For a long time, Vladimir kept despising flowers considering sculpture his true vocation. All his spare time he dedicated to the "real art" – sculptural compositions.

However, porcelain flowers were being sold with tremendous success. His sculptures enjoyed less popularity; besides, he wouldn't have had much time for sculpture because he had to make flowers.

And only now, when he is over sixty, Vladimir Kanevsky, at last, found his ideal balance between the ambitions of his own, and demands of the market. He understood that porcelain flowers are a kind of art of his own, which is really on demand. He started to sincerely love them for this. Now he assures, joking, that he recently remembered botany used to be his favourite school discipline.

So, now Vladimir creates with pleasure, touring the world with exhibitions, giving interviews and assures that the most interesting time of his life has come. His works are in more demand than ever in his life before. In 2012 a famous German porcelain house Meissen counting 300-year-old history proposed making a joint collection together with Vladimir.

«Someone's time of professional flourishing is youth, someone's is middle age; mine has just come», says Vladimir Kanevsky. «The time we are living is very interesting, there are fantastic technologies that can be used in our work. It is incredibly awesome».

It is quite possible to discover new talents and capacities after one's fifties!


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