Art is changeable, tastes are capricious, but the love of a portrait does not fade away. Even in the era of digital technology that allows you to instantly “catch a face”, a person for the artist is a blessed topic.

Once upon a time, a portrait could bring a whole fortune to the author – for example, the fashionable portrait painter Ivan Kramskoy in his mature years asked for 300-400 rubles for his work (the annual salary of an official at the level of Akaky Akakievich), and at the end of his life he could also demand 1,500. Today, artists they write to order with reluctance. “Once we took orders for portraits,” Vladimir Dubosarsky admits. “But together with our customers, we had problems that we did not even suspect.” For example, we redid the portrait of an Italian curatorial five times, all the time she did not like the hairstyle. ” Although for beautiful girls Vinogradov – Dubosarsky make exceptions: so on their canvases were Natalia Vodyanova and Valeria Gai Germanika. Modern artists prefer to follow the logic of media, finding their heroes in the news feed and creating portraits from ready-made images.

Responding to the death of Michael Jackson, art dealers immediately pulled out all the portraits of the king of pop music from bins. The undisputed leader among media icons of the 2000s, Kate Moss inspires thrash portraits (the bloody primitive of British Stella Wayan), portraits of “nudes” (by Chuck Close or Lucien Freud) and even a revived “classic”, like the marble sculpture “Sphinx” Mark Queen. Madonna is a little behind Kate, but it was she who became the collective image of the era: in the installation of Candice Breitz on 30 screens, close-ups of singing fans of pop divas were broadcast. The documentary video becomes the “fresco of the 21st century”, and the “video portraits” of footballer Zinnedin Zidane or choreographer Merce Cunningham acquire the features of an icon. Masters of modern portrait also create their works from more unexpected “materials”: ​​their own blood (Mark Quinn), garbage (Tim Noble and Sue Webster)

However, in the 21st century, the place of tradition remains – however, in a new interpretation. So, the Australian Ron Myoik increases realistic figures to hyper-dimensions. Sergei Kalinin and Farid Bogdalov, following Repin’s picturesque feat, write a remake of the “Grand Council of the State Council …” remake with current politicians. And Julian Opie, famous for his portraits as if following the point-to-point-cucumber formula, no, no, yes, and makes us startle with surprise and, remembering the portraits of the time of Rubens, admire.